Clinical indicators of intracranial lesion on computed tomographic scan in children with parietal skull fracture

Am J Dis Child. 1989 Feb;143(2):194-6. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150140084025.


We conducted a review of 98 cases of pediatric traumatic parietal skull fracture in which computed tomographic (CT) scans of the head were obtained during a seven-year period. There were 69 instances of an associated intracranial lesion identified in 47 children, including parenchymal injury (23), epidural hematoma (17), subdural hematoma (11), cerebral edema (ten), and subarachnoid hemorrhage (eight). Compared with 51 other children with parietal skull fracture and normal CT scans, the clinical characteristics significantly associated with the presence of an intracranial lesion were symptoms of neurologic dysfunction (loss or altered level of consciousness and/or seizure activity), neurologic compromise on examination (altered level of consciousness and/or focal deficit), or complicated skull fracture (bilateral, diastatic, and/or depressed). Of the 47 children with an intracranial lesion on CT scan, 44 had at least one of these significant clinical characteristics (sensitivity, 93%; specificity, 50%; positive-predictive value, 62%; and negative-predictive value, 96%). Children who sustain traumatic parietal skull fracture commonly experience associated intracranial injury. Those with evidence of neurologic deficit or complicated skull fracture are at particularly high risk, and should receive cranial CT scan evaluation.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Brain Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Parietal Bone
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skull Fractures / complications*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*