ARRS 2022 Abstracts


E1790. Ultrasound Imaging in the Pediatric Acute Abdomen: A Comprehensive Approach
  1. Preet kiran Sandhu; The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  2. Hiral Banker; The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Acute abdominal pain is a common presenting symptom in pediatric patients who are seen in the emergency room. Sometimes, history is difficult to elucidate or not relevant in nonverbal, very young patients. Causes of acute abdominal pain in children include but are not limited to congenital conditions, infection, trauma, and abdominal masses. Being radiation-free, ultrasound is the primary modality of choice in children presenting with acute abdominal pain. The objective of this presentation is to describe the ultrasound US appearance of various abdominal pathologies in children who present in emergency situations. We will focus on cases, early management of which can reduce mortality and morbidity. Correct knowledge of such pathologies is helpful to radiologists not to just accelerate treatment but also to reduce unnecessary interventions.

Educational Goals / Teaching Points
This exhibit aims to provide an overview of causes of acute abdominal pain in children; emphasize the role of ultrasound in pediatric acute abdomen; describe ultrasound appearance and key imaging features to identify various abdominal pathologies in children; and explain collaborative investigations required to confirm the diagnosis in equivocal cases.

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
Children commonly present to the emergency room with abdominal pain. Causes of acute abdomen in children include congenital conditions, infection, accidental or non-accidental trauma, abdominal masses, and other pathologies such as incarcerated hernia, torsion of the abdominal viscera, etc. Some pathologies like intussusception due to lymphoid hyperplasia are more common/exclusive in pediatrics. Being radiation-free, portable, and easy to perform, ultrasound of the abdomen and pelvis is often performed in such cases. Most pathologies have a characteristic ultrasound appearance so that the diagnosis can be made with ultrasound alone. If a definite diagnosis cannot be made with ultrasound, it can help tailor further imaging. Radiologists should be aware of the most common causes of abdominal pain in children of different age groups and their imaging appearances.

Thorough knowledge of various pathologies, that can be seen in children with acute abdominal pain, and their ultrasound appearance is essential for radiologists. Timely and accurate diagnosis in such cases can reduce morbidity and mortality.