Computerized tomographic findings in children with head trauma in a Nigerian tertiary hospital.
Objective: To describe the computerized tomographic findings in children with head trauma who presented at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria.
Methods: It is a retrospective review of patients aged 0 – 15 years with suspected intracranial injury (ICI) following head trauma, who presented for CT scan at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria from October 2006 to September 2010. SPSS version 16 software was used for data analysis.
Results: The CT films and reports of 88 patients which comprised 47 boys and 41 girls were reviewed. The mean age of the children was 6.9 ± 4.6 years. The most common mode of injury was road traffic accident (69.3%) followed by falls (22.7%). The specific abnormalities seen in these patients were fractures in 35 (76.1%), intracranial bleeds in 26 (56.5%), cerebral oedema in 3 (6.5%) while aerocele was seen in only one (0.2%) patient. The fractures were linear in 16 (45.7%), depressed in 10 (28.6%) and comminuted in 9 (25.7%) patients. Intracerebral bleeds were by far the most common intracranial bleeding occurring in 18 (69.2%) patients. Intracranial bleeding was associated with linear fractures in 47.0% of the patients and depressed fractures in 12.5%.
Conclusion: Computed tomography is a valuable tool in the management of pediatric patients with head trauma in the acute setting. Caution must however be exercised in children because of their sensitive nature to the hazards of ionizing radiation.
Keywords: Computerized tomography, head trauma, intracranial injury, children.