Absent peritoneal fluid on screening trauma ultrasonography in children: a prospective comparison with computed tomography

J Pediatr Surg. 2001 Apr;36(4):565-9. doi: 10.1053/jpsu.2001.22283.


Background: Although the accuracy of focused abdominal sonography for trauma (FAST) in adults has been demonstrated, results of this technique in children have been conflicting with few comparisons against computed tomography (CT), the imaging gold standard.

Methods: A total of 160 hemodynamically stable pediatric trauma victims referred for abdominal CT initially underwent rapid screening sonography looking for free fluid. Both studies were interpreted in blinded fashion.

Results: Forty-four of the 160 patients had an intraabdominal injury on CT, 24 (55%) of which had normal screening sonography. Fifteen of the 44 (34%) had no free fluid on either modality. Accuracy of sonography compared with CT was 76% with a negative predictive value 81%.

Conclusions: Sonography for free fluid alone is not reliable to exclude blunt intraabdominal injury in hemodynamically stable children given the considerable percentage of injured patients without free fluid. J Pediatr Surg 36:565-569.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Age Factors
  • Ascitic Fluid / diagnostic imaging*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / diagnostic imaging*