Publication Date



Emergency Radiology


Pediatric blunt trauma is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, and computed tomography (CT) imaging is vital for accurate evaluation and management. Pediatric trauma centers (PTCs) have selective CT practices, while non-PTCs may differ, resulting in potential variations in CT utilization. The objective of this study is to delineate disparities in CT utilization for pediatric blunt trauma patients between PTCs and non-PTCs. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted following established guidelines, searching PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science up to March 3, 2023. All studies examining CT utilization in the management of pediatric (aged < 21 years) blunt trauma and specifying the type of trauma center(s) were included, and data were extracted and analyzed using STATA software version 17.0. An analysis of 30 studies revealed significant variations in CT scan utilization among pediatric blunt trauma patients across different types of trauma centers. 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) compared to adult or mixed trauma centers (ATCs/MTCs). PTCs had a pooled rate of 54% for receiving at least one CT scan, while ATCs/MTCs had a higher rate of 69.3% (p < 0.05). The studies demonstrated considerable heterogeneity. These findings underscore the need to conduct further research to understand the reasons for the observed variations and to promote appropriate imaging usage, minimize radiation exposure, and encourage collaboration between pediatric and adult trauma centers.


Adult, Child, Humans, Trauma Centers, Wounds, Nonpenetrating, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Radiation Exposure, Cervical Vertebrae, Retrospective Studies



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