Pediatric head trauma

The evidence regarding indications for emergent neuroimaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of childhood death and disability worldwide. In the United States, childhood head trauma results in approximately 3,000 deaths, 50,000 hospitalizations, and 650,000 emergency department (ED) visits annually. Children presenting to the ED with seemingly minor head trauma account for approximately one-half of children with documented TBIs. Despite the frequency and importance of childhood minor head trauma, there exists no highly accurate, reliable and validated clinical scoring system or prediction rule for assessing risk of TBI among those with minor head trauma. At the same time, use of CT scanning in these children in recent years has increased substantially. The major benefit of CT scanning is early identification (and treatment) of TBIs that might otherwise be missed and result in increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Unnecessary CT imaging, however, exposes the child needlessly to the risk of radiation-induced malignancies. What constitutes appropriate criteria for obtaining CT scans in children after minor blunt head trauma remains controversial. Current evidence to guide clinicians in this regard is limited; however, large studies performed in multi-center research networks have recently been conducted. These studies should provide the foundation of evidence to guide CT decisions by clinicians, help identify TBIs in a timely fashion, and reduce unnecessary radiation exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric Radiology
Volume38
Issue numberSUPPL.4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Fingerprint

Craniocerebral Trauma
Neuroimaging
Pediatrics
Hospital Emergency Service
Cause of Death
Hospitalization
Radiation
Morbidity
Mortality
Research
Neoplasms
Traumatic Brain Injury
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Blunt head trauma
  • Pediatric trauma
  • Radiation exposure
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Pediatric head trauma : The evidence regarding indications for emergent neuroimaging. / Kuppermann, Nathan.

In: Pediatric Radiology, Vol. 38, No. SUPPL.4, 11.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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