Background: Studies have demonstrated the value of the follow-up skeletal survey in identifying additional fractures, clarifying indeterminate findings, and improving dating of skeletal injuries in victims of physical abuse.
Objective: To determine whether a more limited follow-up survey could yield the same radiologic data as a full follow-up survey.
Materials and methods: The study cohort comprised 101 children who had follow-up surveys that met our inclusion criteria. Consensus readings of both original and follow-up surveys were performed by two pediatric radiologists. These results were compared to determine additional findings from the follow-up surveys. Limited skeletal survey protocols were evaluated to determine whether they would detect the same fractures seen with a complete osseous survey.
Results: In the 101 children 244 fractures were identified on the initial osseous survey. Follow-up surveys demonstrated new information in 38 children (37.6%). A 15-view limited follow-up survey identified all additional information seen on the complete follow-up survey.
Conclusion: Our data demonstrate that a 15-view limited follow-up skeletal survey could be performed without missing clinically significant new fractures and still allow proper identification of confirmed fractures or normal findings. A limited survey would decrease radiation dose in children.