Objectives: Neck masses are a common reason for presentations to the pediatric emergency department (PED). We sought to determine the agreement and time difference between point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) imaging by pediatric emergency physicians compared to radiology department imaging for children with neck masses in the PED.
Methods: We performed a retrospective study of patients aged 0 to 18 years presenting to our tertiary PED who received both POCUS by a pediatric emergency physician and radiology department imaging. Charts were reviewed for POCUS diagnoses, final diagnoses, and imaging time metrics.
Results: Seventy-five patients met the study criteria. In 58 of 75 cases there was agreement between the POCUS diagnosis and final diagnosis (κ = 0.71; 95% confidence interval, 0.6-0.83). There was agreement in 25 of the 28 cases in which POCUS examinations were performed by PED physicians with fellowship training in POCUS (κ = 0.87; 95% confidence interval, 0.72-1.00). The results for POCUS were generated in a median of 115 minutes (interquartile range, 68-185 minutes) before radiology department imaging results.
Conclusions: Point-of-care ultrasound imaging by pediatric emergency physicians for children with neck masses is a promising new POCUS application that may be able to save time in the PED.
Keywords: neck mass; pediatric emergency medicine; point-of-care ultrasound.
© 2019 by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.