Review of 354 infants and children who had skull roentgenography for head trauma over a 2½-year period revealed a low incidence of fractures (4.2%) and no serious intracranial complications. With the exception of one patient with an elevated surgically depressed skull fracture, treatment was not changed because of the detection of a fracture. Thus, in the usually mild head trauma sustained by most children, routine skull roentgenography is inefficient. To make efficient use of resources, clinical criteria are necessary to select patients for skull roentgenography. Criteria previously defined for adult patients are, however, less useful in children. On the basis of the present study, additional criteria were identified so that fractures may be detected among children with mild head trauma, at much reduced cumulative cost and exposure to radiation. Nevertheless, the clinical importance of detection of skull fractures remains uncertain.
- Received March 10, 1981.
- Accepted April 30, 1981.
- Copyright © 1982 by the American Academy of Pediatrics