CT follows clinical findings for suspected child abuse

December 14, 2010

CTs should be ordered for children suspected of being abused only if clinical findings suggest they may be positive, according to a study published online in Pediatric Radiology.

CTs should be ordered for children suspected of being abused only if clinical findings suggest they may be positive, according to a study published online in Pediatric Radiology.

Incomplete history and concern for occult injury in children suspected of suffering abuse occasionally results in CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis, most of which are negative. Several clinical factors can guide whether the CTs will be positive. These include absent/hypoactive bowel sounds, liver function tests greater than twice normal, more than two abnormal labs, or physical exam findings.

The retrospective review involved 68 children older than 36 months who had a CT of the abdomen/pelvis at the University of Michigan Health System.