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CT Usage in Pediatric Trauma Cases Stable in Recent Years

For children versus adults, spine, maxillofacial, thoracic CT less likely; head CT more likely

CT Usage in Pediatric Trauma Cases Stable in Recent Years

THURSDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- From 2008 to 2010, computed tomography (CT) usage in hospitalized pediatric trauma cases was stable or decreased slightly, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in Radiology.

Bahman S. Roudsari, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Washington, and colleagues examined recent trends in the use of CT in hospitalized pediatric trauma patients using data from the Harborview Medical Center trauma registry linked to billing department data. They extracted patient and injury-related characteristics as well as the type and frequency of CT procedures for 64,425 trauma patients, classified by age: 0 to 14 years, 15 to 18 years, and 19 to 54 years (reference group).

The researchers found that CT usage in children up to 15 years of age was significantly lower for spine (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.89), maxillofacial (IRR, 0.89), and thoracic (IRR, 0.91) CT; while use of head CT was significantly increased in children aged up to 15 years and aged 15 to 18 years (IRRs, 1.09 and 1.08, respectively), compared with adults aged 19 to 54 years. For children aged up to 15 years old and aged 15 to 18 years old, the usage rates for almost all CT types were relatively stable or decreased slightly from 2008 to 2010.

"A decreasing or unchanged trend was observed in CT usage in hospitalized pediatric trauma patients in recent years," write the authors.

One of the authors disclosed financial ties to GE Healthcare and HealthHelp, a radiology benefits management company.

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