CT Use in Children Decreased

Use of ultrasound and MRI among children is rising, while CT imaging drops.

Despite reported overall increases of computed tomography (CT) imaging, use is actually declining among children, according to a study published in Pediatrics.

Researchers from Ohio, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Texas undertook a multicenter cross-sectional study of children admitted to tertiary-care hospitals to determine the trend in CT use in this population.

The study included 33 hospitals and took place between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2012. The researchers examined the rates of CT, ultrasound, and MRI for the top 10 All-Patient Refined Diagnosis Related Groups (APR-DRGs) for which CT was performed in 2004 were determined by billing data. The rates of each imaging modality for those top 10 APR-DRGs were followed through the study period.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"42081","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_7384536939408","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"4519","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"height: 80px; width: 120px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":"©Puwadol Jaturawutthichai/Shutterstock.com","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

With the exception of ventricular shunt procedures and nonbacterial gastroenteritis, all included APR-DRGs, the number of children imaged with any modality increased. However, use of CT decreased for all APR-DRGs. “For each of the APR-DRGs except seizure and infections of upper respiratory tract, the decrease in CT was associated with a significant rise in an alternative imaging modality,” the authors wrote.