Study designs of evaluations included in the review
No a priori inclusion criteria relating to the study design were reported. The included studies were a mix of retrospective and prospective studies. The participants were enrolled consecutively in most of the studies, but not all.
Specific interventions included in the review
The included studies evaluated the diagnostic performance of patient histories, physical examination and/or laboratory tests for the detection of acute cholecystitis. Each of the included studies evaluated a range of clinical and laboratory findings ranging from 1 to 9 parameters.
Reference standard test against which the new test was compared
The included studies were required to define cholecystitis using surgery, pathologic examination, hepatic iminodiacetic acid scan or right upper quadrant ultrasound, or clinical course consistent with acute cholecystitis and no evidence for an alternate diagnosis as the reference standard.
Participants included in the review
Studies of adults with abdominal pain or suspected acute cholecystitis were eligible for inclusion. Patients with acalculous cholecystitis were also included. The included studies were also required to report data from a control group of patients subsequently found not to have acute cholecystitis.
Outcomes assessed in the review
The data had to be reported for all groups in sufficient detail to allow the construction of 2x2 tables.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
Three authors reviewed the extracted studies to determine inclusion in the review.