JOURNAL ARTICLE

Experience with focused abdominal sonography for trauma (FAST) in 313 pediatric patients

Michalle Soudack, Monica Epelman, Roni Maor, Lili Hayari, Gideon Shoshani, Asnat Heyman-Reiss, Moshe Michaelson, Diana Gaitini
Journal of Clinical Ultrasound: JCU 2004, 32 (2): 53-61
14750135

PURPOSE: The use of focused abdominal sonography for trauma (FAST), which detects free fluid in the abdomen and pelvis, for the assessment of blunt abdominal trauma is gaining acceptance worldwide and has been described extensively in the general medical literature. The precise application of this technique in pediatric patients, however, has yet to be established. The aim of this study was to assess the utility of FAST in pediatric trauma patients by comparing the results of this technique with those of CT and explorative laparotomy (ELAP).

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records and sonographic examinations of pediatric patients who had sustained multiple traumatic injuries for which they were treated at our hospital during a 20-month period. For all patients, FAST had been the initial screening examination for blunt abdominal trauma. We compared the FAST findings, which had been recorded as positive or negative, with the findings on CT or ELAP, which were considered definitive.

RESULTS: A total of 313 patients (204 boys and 109 girls) with a mean age of 7.1 years were included in the study. The FAST finding had been negative in 274 patients, of whom 201 had had no clinical signs of abdominal injury and had been managed conservatively without complications. CT had been performed in 109 patients and ELAP in 11. FAST had yielded 3 false-negative and 2 false-positive results. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of FAST were 92.5%, 97.2%, and 95.5%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: FAST is an effective tool in screening pediatric trauma patients for blunt abdominal trauma.

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