E5469. Disparities in Utilizing CT for Pediatric Blunt Trauma: A Comparative Analysis
  1. Amir Hassankhani; University of Southern California
  2. Amoukhteh Melika; University of Southern California
  3. Ali Gholamrezanezhad; University of Southern California
Pediatric blunt trauma constitutes a significant contributor to both morbidity and mortality. Accurate evaluation and management often hinge on CT imaging. Variations in CT practices exist between pediatric trauma centers (PTCs) and nonPTCs, which might lead to divergent CT utilization patterns. This study aims to delve into and address the discrepancies in CT utilization among pediatric blunt trauma patients across PTCs and nonPTCs.

Materials and Methods:
Employing established guidelines, a systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted. The search encompassed PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science, extending through March 3, 2023. Eligible studies were incorporated, and meticulous data extraction and analysis were performed utilizing STATA software version 17.0.

A comprehensive evaluation of 30 studies unveiled notable disparities in the utilization of CT scans among pediatric blunt trauma patients within varying trauma center classifications. Notably, PTCs exhibited lower pooled rates of abdominopelvic CT scans (35.4% vs. 44.9%, p < 0.01), cranial CT scans (36.9% vs. 42.9%, p < 0.01), chest CT scans (14.5% vs. 25.4%, p < 0.01), and cervical spine CT scans (23% vs. 45%, p < 0.01), in comparison to adult or mixed trauma centers (ATCs/MTCs). The cumulative rate of receiving at least one CT scan was 54% in PTCs, whereas ATCs/MTCs displayed a higher rate of 69.3% (p < 0.05). The studies collectively exhibited substantial heterogeneity.

These findings underscore the exigency for further research to comprehend the underlying reasons fueling these disparities. This understanding is pivotal to fostering judicious imaging usage, mitigating radiation exposure, and fostering collaborative efforts between pediatric and adult trauma centers to optimize patient care.