The Use of Chest Computed Tomographic Angiography in Blunt Trauma Pediatric Population

Rabea Hasadia*, Joseph Dubose, Kobi Peleg, Jacob Stephenson, Adi Givon, Boris Kessel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Blunt chest trauma in children is common. Although rare, associated major thoracic vascular injuries (TVIs) are lethal potential sequelae of these mechanisms. The preferred study for definitive diagnosis of TVI in stable patients is computed tomographic angiography imaging of the chest. This imaging modality is, however, associated with high doses of ionizing radiation that represent significant carcinogenic risk for pediatric patients. The aim of the present investigation was to define the incidence of TVI among blunt pediatric trauma patients in an effort to better elucidate the usefulness of computed tomographic angiography use in this population. Methods A retrospective cohort study was conducted including all blunt pediatric (age < 14 y) trauma victims registered in Israeli National Trauma Registry maintained by Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy Research between the years 1997 and 2015. Data collected included age, sex, mechanism of injury, Glasgow Coma Scale, Injury Severity Score, and incidence of chest named vessel injuries. Statistical analysis was performed using SAS statistical software version 9.2 (SAS Institute Inc, Cary, NC). Results Among 433,325 blunt trauma victims, 119,821patients were younger than 14 years. Twelve (0.0001%, 12/119821) of these children were diagnosed with TVI. The most common mechanism in this group was pedestrian hit by a car. Mortality was 41.7% (5/12). Conclusions Thoracic vascular injury is exceptionally rare among pediatric blunt trauma victims but does contribute to the high morbidity and mortality seen with blunt chest trauma. Computed tomographic angiography, with its associated radiation exposure risk, should not be used as a standard tool after trauma in injured children. Clinical protocols are needed in this population to minimize radiation risk while allowing prompt identification of life-threatening injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E682-E685
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Blunt chest trauma
  • Ct angiography
  • Trauma
  • Vascular chest trauma


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