Prevalence of Clinically Important Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children With Minor Blunt Head Trauma and Isolated Severe Injury Mechanisms
ABSTRACT To determine the prevalence of clinically important traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) with severe injury mechanisms in children with minor blunt head trauma but with no other risk factors from the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) TBI prediction rules (defined as isolated severe injury mechanisms).
Secondary analysis of a large prospective observational cohort study.
Twenty-five emergency departments participating in the PECARN.
Children with minor blunt head trauma and Glasgow Coma Scale scores of at least 14.
Treating clinicians completed a structured data form that included injury mechanism (severity categories defined a priori).
Clinically important TBIs were defined as intracranial injuries resulting in death, neurosurgical intervention, intubation for more than 24 hours, or hospital admission for at least 2 nights. We investigated the rate of clinically important TBIs in children with either severe injury mechanisms or isolated severe injury mechanisms.
Of the 42,412 patients enrolled in the overall study, 42,099 (99%) had injury mechanisms recorded, and their data were included for analysis. Of all study patients, 5869 (14%) had severe injury mechanisms, and 3302 (8%) had isolated severe injury mechanisms. Overall, 367 children had clinically important TBIs (0.9%; 95% CI, 0.8%-1.0%). Of the 1327 children younger than 2 years with isolated severe injury mechanisms, 4 (0.3%; 95% CI, 0.1%-0.8%) had clinically important TBIs, as did 12 of the 1975 children 2 years or older (0.6%; 95% CI, 0.3%-1.1%).
Children with isolated severe injury mechanisms are at low risk of clinically important TBI, and many do not require emergent neuroimaging.
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ABSTRACT: A history of loss of consciousness (LOC) is frequently a driving factor for computed tomography use in the emergency department evaluation of children with blunt head trauma. Computed tomography carries a nonnegligible risk for lethal radiation-induced malignancy. The Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) derived 2 age-specific prediction rules with 6 variables for clinically important traumatic brain injury (ciTBI), which included LOC as one of the risk factors.JAMA Pediatrics 07/2014; 168(9). DOI:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.361 · 4.25 Impact Factor
05/2014; 168(6). DOI:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.651
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ABSTRACT: Head trauma is a frequent indication for cranial imaging in children. CT is considered the first line of study for suspected intracranial injury because of its wide availability and rapid detection of acute hemorrhage. However, the majority of childhood head injuries occur without neurologic complications, and particular consideration should be given to the greater risks of ionizing radiation in young patients in the decision to use CT for those with mild head trauma. MRI can detect traumatic complications without radiation, but often requires sedation in children, owing to the examination length and motion sensitivity, which limits rapid assessment and exposes the patient to potential anesthesia risks. MRI may be helpful in patients with suspected nonaccidental trauma, with which axonal shear injury and ischemia are more common and documentation is critical, as well as in those whose clinical status is discordant with CT findings. Advanced techniques, such as diffusion tensor imaging, may identify changes occult by standard imaging, but data are currently insufficient to support routine clinical use. The ACR Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed every 3 years by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and review include an extensive analysis of current medical literature from peer-reviewed journals and the application of a well-established consensus methodology (modified Delphi) to rate the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures by the panel. In those instances in which evidence is lacking or not definitive, expert opinion may be used to recommend imaging or treatment.Journal of the American College of Radiology: JACR 08/2014; 11(10). DOI:10.1016/j.jacr.2014.07.017