Cervical seatbelt sign is not associated with blunt cerebrovascular injury in children: A review of the national trauma databank.
BACKGROUND: Blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) is a rare consequence of blunt trauma. There appears to be benefit to an aggressive approach to screening for BCVI due to catastrophic sequelae of unrecognized injury. However, screening for BCVI carries extensive cost and oncologic risk to young patients. Foundational BCVI studies examined adults primarily, leaving question to the effectiveness of these criteria in children. We sought to evaluate BCVI screening criteria developed in primarily adult populations using a nationally representative pediatric dataset. METHODS: We queried the 2008-2014 National Trauma Data Bank for patients with BCVI. Patients were stratified by age (adults>18yrs, pediatric≤18yrs). Screening factors from the Modified Denver Criteria and Modified Memphis Criteria (GCS≤8, C1C3 cervical fracture, cervical subluxation, seatbelt sign, basilar skull fracture, mid-facial fracture, mandibular fracture, significant blood loss, coma, stroke, and hanging) were examined using univariate analysis and backwards-stepwise logistic regression to verify predictors of BCVI. RESULTS: Blunt injury occurred in 2,174,244 adults and 422,181 children; 5970 adults and 809 children sustained BCVI. In univariate analysis, all screening factors correlated with BCVI in both groups (p < 0.001). When comparing BCVI patients, children more commonly experienced GCS≤8, seatbelt sign, basilar skull fracture, mid-facial fracture, mandibular fracture, and coma (p < 0.05). In multivariable analysis, seatbelt sign was not associated with pediatric BCVI. CONCLUSION: Many adult-associated BCVI risk factors apply to children. Although children more commonly experience seatbelt sign, it does not independently cause increased BCVI risk. Given the rarity of pediatric BCVI, prospective multi-institutional studies are warranted to establish screening criteria specific to children.
Leraas, HJ; Kuchibhatla, M; Nag, UP; Kim, J; Ezekian, B; Reed, CR; Rice, HE; Tracy, ET; Adibe, OO
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