Repeat computed tomographic scan within 24-48 hours of admission in children with moderate and severe head trauma

Uri Tabori, Alik Kornecki, Shaul Sofer, Shlomo Constantini, Gideon Paret, Raphael Beck, Yakov Sivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To asses the yield and contribution of a routine predetermined repeat head computed tomographic (CT) scan within 24-36 hrs in pediatric patients with moderate to severe head trauma. Design: Records review. Setting: Five pediatric intensive care units. Patients: We reviewed the charts of 173 consecutive pediatric patients with moderate to severe head trauma (Glasgow Coma Scale score of ≤ 11) that survived the first 24 hrs after being admitted to five Israeli trauma centers. Clinical data collected included status at admission, at the time between the first and second CT scans, and after the second scan. Head details of the first, second, and, if performed, third CT scan were collected. Treatment strategy during each period was recorded, including any change in treatment after each CT scan. Measurements and Main Results: A total of 47 (27%) of the second CT scans showed new lesions including six intracranial hemorrhages, 17 cases of worsening brain edema, and 18 newly diagnosed brain contusions. However, none of these findings necessitated surgical intervention or any change in therapy. Of the 67 patients who underwent a third CT scan two cases required surgical intervention because of new findings in the third CT. Conclusions: A second routine prescheduled head CT scan within 24-36 hrs after admission in pediatric patients with moderate to severe head trauma is unlikely to yield any change W therapy. Clinically and intracranial pressure-oriented CT scan may better select and diagnose patients who require changes in therapy, including surgery. Studies aimed to determine the ideal timing for the second are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-844
Number of pages5
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Brain contusion
  • CT scan
  • Children
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Head
  • Infants
  • Intracranial hematoma
  • Trauma

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