Purpose: Incisional hernia (IH) is the most frequent complication after abdominal surgery. The diagnostic modality, observer, definition, and diagnostic protocol used for the diagnosis of IH potentially influence the reported prevalence. The objective of this systematic review is to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of different modalities used to identify IH. Methods: Embase, MEDLINE OvidSP, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and Cochrane databases were searched to identify studies diagnosing IH. Studies comparing the IH detection rate of two different diagnostic modalities or inter-observer variability of one modality were included. Quality assessment of studies was done by Cochrane Collaboration’s tool. Article selection and data collection were performed independently by two researchers. PROSPERO registration: CRD42017062307. Results: Fifteen studies representing a total of 2986 patients were included. Inter-observer variation for CT-scan ranged from 11.2 to 69% (n = 678). Disagreement between ultrasound and CT-scan ranged between 6.6 and 17% (n = 221). Ten studies compared physical examination to CT-scan or ultrasound. Disagreement between physical examination and imaging ranged between 7.6 and 39% (n = 1602). Between 15 and 58% of IHs were solely detected by imaging (n = 483). Relative increase in IH prevalence for imaging compared to physical examination ranged from 0.92 to 2.4 (n = 1922). Conclusions: Ultrasound or CT-scan will result in substantial additional IH diagnosis. Lack of consensus regarding the definition of IH might contribute to the disagreement rates. Both the observer and diagnostic modality used could be additional factors explaining variability in IH prevalence and should be reported in IH research.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Diagnosis, Hernia incidence, Incisional hernia, Medical imaging
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10029-017-1725-5, hdl.handle.net/1765/104044
Journal Hernia: the journal of hernias and abdominal wall surgery
Kroese, L.F, Sneiders, D. (D.), Kleinrensink, G.J, Muysoms, F.E, & Lange, J.F. (J. F.). (2018). Comparing different modalities for the diagnosis of incisional hernia: a systematic review. Hernia: the journal of hernias and abdominal wall surgery, 1–14. doi:10.1007/s10029-017-1725-5