Publication Date



Emergency Radiology


Pediatric distal forearm fractures, comprising 30% of musculoskeletal injuries in children, are conventionally diagnosed using radiography. Ultrasound has emerged as a safer diagnostic tool, eliminating ionizing radiation, enabling bedside examinations with real-time imaging, and proving effective in non-hospital settings. The objective of this study is to evaluate the diagnostic efficacy of ultrasound for detecting distal forearm fractures in the pediatric population. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted through a comprehensive literature search in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Embase databases until October 1, 2023, following established guidelines. Eligible studies, reporting diagnostic accuracy measures of ultrasound in pediatric patients with distal forearm fractures, were included. Relevant data elements were extracted, and data analysis was performed. The analysis included 14 studies with 1377 patients, revealing pooled sensitivity and specificity of 94.5 (95% CI 92.7-95.9) and 93.5 (95% CI 89.6-96.0), respectively. Considering pre-test probabilities of 25%, 50%, and 75% for pediatric distal forearm fractures, positive post-test probabilities were 83%, 44%, and 98%, while negative post-test probabilities were 2%, 6%, and 15%, respectively. The bivariate model indicated significantly higher diagnostic accuracy in the subgroup with trained ultrasound performers vs. untrained performers (p = 0.03). Furthermore, diagnostic accuracy was significantly higher in the subgroup examining radius fractures vs. ulna fractures (p < 0.001), while no significant differences were observed between 4-view and 6-view ultrasound subgroups or between radiologist ultrasound interpreters and non-radiologist interpreters. This study highlighted ultrasound's reliability in detecting pediatric distal forearm fractures, emphasizing the crucial role of expertise in precisely confirming fractures through ultrasound examinations.


Child, Humans, Wrist Fractures, Reproducibility of Results, Prospective Studies, Radius Fractures, Ulna Fractures, Ultrasonography, Forearm Injuries



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