Eur J Radiol 2003 Oct;48(1):103-24
Radiology Department and Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital Radiography and Interventional Radiology, Danube Hospital, Langobardenstrasse 122, A-1220 Vienna, Austria.
Scope of this article is to give practical hints for the most common, typical and important topics of trauma radiology in children to those radiologists who are not exclusively occupied with paediatric imaging. Due to the increased radiation sensitivity of children compared with adults balancing radiation protection and necessary image quality is of utmost importance. Outlines for this optimisation process are given. Especially in imaging of the extremities perhaps the greatest difficulties are posed by the dynamically changing face of the immature, growing, only partially ossified skeleton. Lack of experience must be compensated by meticulous comparison with the normal skeletal development as shown in standard textbooks, and by knowledge of the radiological image of the developmental variants. Besides general remarks about paediatric trauma radiology, some important topics are discussed into more detail. Especially the elbow joint poses a challenge for those less experienced with its radiological appearance in children. More than in adults, ultrasound should remain the primary imaging modality of choice especially in the assessment of abdominal trauma, and CT be tailored to radiological and clinical findings. Imaging and diagnosis of non-accidental injury (NAI) may be a less common task for the general radiologist, however, the severe social implications of physical child abuse mandate a basic knowledge about the radiological symptoms and the imaging management of this problem for all physicians occupied with paediatric radiology.