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.
Copyright 2001 by W.B. Saunders Company.