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J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2015 Nov;79(5):828-32. doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000000848.

Which pediatric blunt trauma patients do not require pelvic imaging?

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From the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine (M.H., L.A.S., S.B., S.S.), Division of General and Thoracic Surgery (P.W.W.), Research Institute (P.W.W., D.S., S.S.), and Division of Diagnostic Imaging (J.S.), Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



This study aimed to develop a tool in identifying traumatized children at low risk of pelvic fracture and to determine the sensitivity of this low-risk model for pelvic fractures. We hypothesized that the proportion of children without predictors with pelvic fracture is less than 1%.


This is a retrospective trauma registry analysis of previously healthy children 1 year to 17 years old presenting to the pediatric emergency department with blunt trauma. Postulated predictors of pelvic fracture on radiograph or computed tomography included pain/abnormal examination result of the pelvis/hip, femur deformity, hematuria, abdominal pain/tenderness, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 13 or lower, and hemodynamic instability. We used multivariable logistic regression to identify independent predictors of fracture.


Of 1,121 eligible patients (mean [SD] age, 8.5 [4.6] years), 87 (7.8%) had pelvic fracture. Independent predictors included pain/abnormal examination result of the pelvis/hip (odds ratio [OR], 16.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 9.6-29.1), hematuria (OR, 6.6; 95% CI, 3.0-14.6), femoral deformity (OR, 5.9; 95% CI, 3.1-11.3), GCS score of 13 or lower (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.3-4.3), and hemodynamic instability (OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.7-6.9). One of 590 children (0.2%; 95% CI, 0-0.5%) without predictors had pelvic fractures versus 86 (16.2%) of 531 in those with one or more predictors (OR, 119; 95% CI, 16.6-833). One of 87 children with pelvic fractures had no predictors (1.1%; 95% CI, 0-3%). When assuming a 100% radiography rate, this tool saves 53% pelvic radiographs.


Children with multiple blunt trauma without pain/abnormal examination result of the pelvis/hip, femur deformity, hematuria, abdominal pain/tenderness, GCS score of 13 or lower, or hemodynamic instability constitute a low-risk population for pelvic fracture, with less than 0.5% risk rate. This population does not require routine pelvic imaging.


Therapeutic study, level IV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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