Physical examination may be unreliable in the evaluation of children with blunt abdominal trauma particularly in those with associated major head injuries. In the absence of obvious clinical signs or physical findings of intraabdominal injury, the usefulness of abdominal computed tomography in children is controversial. To test the efficacy of CT scans, a 12-month prospective study of computed tomography for the initial assessment of children with blunt abdominal trauma and major head injuries was carried out. of 320 pediatric trauma admissions to our regional trauma center, 65 consecutive patients with Glasgow Coma Scores less than ten were managed with sequential head and abdominal computed tomography in the emergency room for (1) closed head injury and (2) suspected abdominal trauma. Fifteen patients (23%) were found to have significant intraabdominal injury. Only two required operative intervention. No patients died as a result of the abdominal injuries. In children with significant head trauma and suspected abdominal trauma, combined head and abdominal CT proved to be reliable.
- Computed tomography (CT)
- blunt abdominal trauma
- head injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health