Pediatric head injury is a common presenting complaint in the emergency department (ED), often requiring neuroimaging or ED observation for diagnosis. However, the traditional diagnostic neuroimaging modality, head computed tomography (CT), is associated with radiation exposure while prolonged ED observation impacts patient flow and resource utilization. Recent scientific literature supports abbreviated, or focused and shorter, brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a feasible and accurate diagnostic alternative to CT for traumatic brain injury. However, this is a relatively new application and its use is not widespread. The aims of this review are to describe the science and applications of abbreviated brain MRI and report a model protocol's development and ED implementation in the evaluation of children with head injury for replication in other institutions.
Keywords: head injury; pediatrics; trauma; traumatic brain injury.
© 2020 The Authors. JACEP Open published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of the American College of Emergency Physicians.