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Lancet. 2017 Jun 17;389(10087):2393-2402. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30555-X. Epub 2017 Apr 11.

Accuracy of PECARN, CATCH, and CHALICE head injury decision rules in children: a prospective cohort study.

Author information

1
Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. Electronic address: franz.babl@rch.org.au.
2
Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, WA, Australia; Schools of Paediatrics and Child Health and Primary, Aboriginal and Rural Healthcare, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia.
3
Lady Cilento Children's Hospital, Brisbane and Child Health Research Centre, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
4
Women's & Children's Hospital, Adelaide, SA, Australia.
5
The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
6
Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
7
The Townsville Hospital, Townsville, QLD, Australia.
8
Kidzfirst Middlemore Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand.
9
Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, UK; Academic Department of Emergency Care, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.
10
Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Department of Women's and Children's Health, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.
11
Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
12
Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
13
Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
14
Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
15
Starship Children's Health, Auckland, New Zealand; Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Clinical decision rules can help to determine the need for CT imaging in children with head injuries. We aimed to validate three clinical decision rules (PECARN, CATCH, and CHALICE) in a large sample of children.

METHODS:

In this prospective observational study, we included children and adolescents (aged <18 years) with head injuries of any severity who presented to the emergency departments of ten Australian and New Zealand hospitals. We assessed the diagnostic accuracy of PECARN (stratified into children aged <2 years and ≥2 years), CATCH, and CHALICE in predicting each rule-specific outcome measure (clinically important traumatic brain injury [TBI], need for neurological intervention, and clinically significant intracranial injury, respectively). For each calculation we used rule-specific predictor variables in populations that satisfied inclusion and exclusion criteria for each rule (validation cohort). In a secondary analysis, we compiled a comparison cohort of patients with mild head injuries (Glasgow Coma Scale score 13-15) and calculated accuracy using rule-specific predictor variables for the standardised outcome of clinically important TBI. This study is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, number ACTRN12614000463673.

FINDINGS:

Between April 11, 2011, and Nov 30, 2014, we analysed 20 137 children and adolescents attending with head injuries. CTs were obtained for 2106 (10%) patients, 4544 (23%) were admitted, 83 (<1%) underwent neurosurgery, and 15 (<1%) died. PECARN was applicable for 4011 (75%) of 5374 patients younger than 2 years and 11 152 (76%) of 14 763 patients aged 2 years and older. CATCH was applicable for 4957 (25%) patients and CHALICE for 20 029 (99%). The highest point validation sensitivities were shown for PECARN in children younger than 2 years (100·0%, 95% CI 90·7-100·0; 38 patients identified of 38 with outcome [38/38]) and PECARN in children 2 years and older (99·0%, 94·4-100·0; 97/98), followed by CATCH (high-risk predictors only; 95·2%; 76·2-99·9; 20/21; medium-risk and high-risk predictors 88·7%; 82·2-93·4; 125/141) and CHALICE (92·3%, 89·2-94·7; 370/401). In the comparison cohort of 18 913 patients with mild injuries, sensitivities for clinically important TBI were similar. Negative predictive values in both analyses were higher than 99% for all rules.

INTERPRETATION:

The sensitivities of three clinical decision rules for head injuries in children were high when used as designed. The findings are an important starting point for clinicians considering the introduction of one of the rules.

FUNDING:

National Health and Medical Research Council, Emergency Medicine Foundation, Perpetual Philanthropic Services, WA Health Targeted Research Funds, Townsville Hospital Private Practice Fund, Auckland Medical Research Foundation, A + Trust.

PMID:
28410792
DOI:
10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30555-X
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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