We wanted to assess the trends of computed tomography (CT) examinations in a pediatric emergency department (ED).
Materials and Methods
We searched the medical database to identify the pediatric patients who had visited the ED, and the number of CTs conducted from January 2001 to December 2010. We analyzed the types of CTs, according to the anatomic region, and the patients who underwent CT examinations for multiple regions. Data were stratified, according to the patient age (< 13 years and 13 ≤ ages < 18 years).
The number of CTs performed per 1000 patients increased by 92% during the 10-year period (per 1000 patients, increased from 50.1 CTs in 2001 to 156.5 CTs in 2006, and then decreased to 96.0 CTs in 2010). Although head CTs were performed most often (74.6% of all CTs), facial bone CTs showed the largest rate of increase (3188%) per 1000 patients, followed by cervical CTs (642%), abdominal CTs (474%), miscellaneous CTs (236%), chest CTs (89%) and head CTs (39%). The number of patients who had CT examinations for multiple regions in the same day showed a similar pattern of increase, to that of overall CT examinations. Increase of CT utilization was more pronounced in adolescents than in pediatric patients younger than 13 years (189% vs. 59%).
The utilization of CTs increases from 2001 to 2006, and has declined since 2006. The increase of CTs is more pronounced in adolescents, and facial bone CTs prevail in increased number of examination followed by cervical CTs, abdominal CTs, miscellaneous CTs, chest CTs, and head CTs.
Keywords: Computed tomography, Utilization, Pediatric, Emergency department