Assessment of pediatric near-drowning victims: is there a role for cranial CT?

Pediatr Radiol. 1993;23(4):261-3. doi: 10.1007/BF02010911.


Previous studies have suggested that CT examinations of the brain in children soon after near-drowning incidents are not helpful in predicting clinical outcome and are not necessary. The clinical and CT findings of 19 pediatric near-drowning victims were reviewed for correlation with clinical and neurologic outcome. As expected, a normal initial CT scan was poorly predictive of outcome, whereas an abnormal CT scan in the initial 36 h following an immersion incident was associated with a dismal prognosis. Three children with abnormal initial CT examinations were identified and all died within 3 days of admission. A CT scan performed in the immediate near-drowning period, therefore, may be helpful in identifying some patients who have sustained severe neurologic injury.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Near Drowning / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prognosis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*