Rising use of CT in child visits to the emergency department in the United States, 1995-2008.
ABSTRACT To describe nationwide trends and factors associated with the use of computed tomography (CT) in children visiting emergency departments (EDs) in the United States between 1995 and 2008.
This study was exempt from institutional review board oversight. Data from the 1995-2008 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey were used to evaluate the number and percentage of visits associated with CT for patients younger than 18 years. A mean of 7375 visits were sampled each year. Data were subcategorized according to multiple patient and hospital characteristics. The Rao-Scott χ(2) test was performed to determine whether CT use was similar across subpopulations.
From 1995 to 2008, the number of pediatric ED visits that included CT examination increased from 0.33 to 1.65 million, a fivefold increase, with a compound annual growth rate of 13.2%. The percentage of visits associated with CT increased from 1.2% to 5.9%, a 4.8-fold increase, with a compound annual growth rate of 12.8%. The number of visits associated with CT at pediatric-focused and non-pediatric-focused EDs increased from 14,895 and 316,133, respectively, in 1995 to 212,716 and 1,438,413, respectively, in 2008. By the end of the study period, top chief complaints among those undergoing CT included head injury, abdominal pain, and headache.
Use of CT in children who visit the ED has increased substantially and occurs primarily at non-pediatric-focused facilities. This underscores the need for special attention to this vulnerable population to ensure that imaging is appropriately ordered, performed, and interpreted.
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ABSTRACT: Computed tomography (CT) is an imaging modality that exposes patients to ionizing radiation (IR). We review and report findings from our pilot study evaluating whether blood markers are altered in 17 children undergoing medically indicated CT scans. Blood was drawn before ('pre-CT') and 1 hour after ('post-CT' CT scans. Plasma carotenoids, tocopherols, Q10, ascorbic acid (AA) and uric acid (UA) were analyzed by RP-HPLC with diode-array and electrochemical detection. Dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA) was calculated by subtraction from total AA. Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was measured using the ORAC assay. Cytokines were quantified using a multiplex immunoassay. γ-H2AX foci were visualized using immunofluorescence. Mean pre- and post-CT changes were compared using t-tests; P-levels < .05 indicated significance. All major plasma lipid soluble antioxidant levels were lower post- vs pre-CT (P < .05) possibly from the scavenging of free radicals formed by CT-induced IR. Average AA levels increased (134%) while DHAA levels were decreased (29%) post-CT, probably due to intracellular recycling of AA from DHAA. TAC levels in lipophilic and hydrophilic extracts were unchanged, suggesting that other antioxidants may have assisted in free radical quenching, which would corroborate their lower concentrations post-CT. Cytokine levels were unchanged and dose-dependent increases in γ-H2AX foci, a measure of double strand DNA breaks, were observed (P = .046, n = 3 children). Our results suggest that CT-derived IR can influence the antioxidant system and may elicit detrimental responses on the cellular level of young children. When possible and if appropriate non-IR based techniques such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging should be used.03/2015; 74(3):112-9.
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ABSTRACT: Background Analyse through a multi-choice anonymous questionnaire the knowledge’s level in paediatric residents and fellows in two different main Italian hospital, looking mainly to the information to patients and relatives related to risks of ionizing radiation used in common radiological investigations in children. Methods 65 multi choice questionnaires were distributed to paediatric residents and fellows of two different hospitals, an University Hospital (A.O.U.P. “P. Giaccone”- University of Palermo) and a national reference centre for paediatrics (Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù - Rome). The questionnaire included twelve multiple-choice questions with the aim of analyzing the knowledge about ionizing radiation related risks in infants and children who undergo common diagnostic radiology investigations. The data obtained were processed using software Stata/MP version 11.2. In order to measure the level of expertise of each interviewee a binary indicator was built. The value 1 was assigned if the percentage of correct answers exceeds the median of the distribution and 0 for values not exceeding the median. The association between the level of competence and demographic characteristics (gender, age) and training experience was measured by means of α2 test. Results 51/65 questionnaires were completed, returned and analysed (87.7%). Only 18 surveyed (35%), (95% IC = [22%-48%]) can be defined as competent in radiation risk knowledge for common radiological investigations, considering the percentage of correct answers at least of 50% (sufficient knowledge was given with a minimum score of 8 correct answers out of 12). Conclusions The study demonstrates an urgent need to implement the radiation protection knowledge in the training programme of paediatricians, that improve if just a short targeted training is performed.Italian Journal of Pediatrics 03/2015; 41(1). DOI:10.1186/s13052-015-0130-x
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ABSTRACT: There are safety concerns about the use of radiation-based imaging (computed tomography [CT]) to diagnose appendicitis in children. Factors associated with CT use remain to be determined. For patients ≤18years old undergoing appendectomy, we evaluated diagnostic imaging performed, patient characteristics, hospital type, and imaging/pathology concordance (2008-2012) using data from Washington State's Surgical Care and Outcomes Assessment Program. Among 2538 children, 99.7% underwent pre-operative imaging. 52.7% had a CT scan as their first study. After adjustment, age >10years (OR 2.9 (95% CI 2.2-4.0), Hispanic ethnicity (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.5-1.9), and being obese (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.4-2.1) were associated with CT use first. Evaluation at a non-children's hospital was associated with higher odds of CT use (OR 7.9, 95% CI 7.5-8.4). Ultrasound concordance with pathology was higher for males (72.3 vs. 66.4%, p=.03), in perforated appendicitis (75.9 vs. 67.5%, p=.009), and at children's hospitals compared to general adult hospitals (77.3 vs. 62.2%, p<.001). CT use has decreased yearly statewide. Over 50% of children with appendicitis had radiation-based imaging. Understanding factors associated with CT use should allow for more specific QI interventions to reduce radiation exposure. Site of care remains a significant factor in radiation exposure for children. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Journal of Pediatric Surgery 04/2015; 50(4):642-646. DOI:10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2014.09.080 · 1.31 Impact Factor