Purpose: To evaluate the use of spiral/helical computed tomography (CT) in the preoperative evaluation of pediatric leukocoria.
Methods: A total of 34 patient charts and imaging studies were reviewed from a consecutive series of children referred with the diagnosis of presumed retinoblastoma. Of these patients, 31 had a confirmed diagnosis of retinoblastoma. Three patients had simulating lesions, including one patient with persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous and two with Coats disease.
Results: In all patients, a diagnosis of intraocular retinoblastoma could be established or excluded at the same clinical level by spiral CT as by conventional CT. Spiral CT of the eye, orbit, and midline structures was performed without a requirement for patient anesthesia. This technique resulted in a reduced volume of contrast material required for evaluation of the central nervous system and a small decrease in total radiation exposure. There was an attendant reduction in the amount of monitoring equipment required and the necessity for attending anesthesia staff.
Conclusions: The primary advantage of spiral CT is reduced anesthesia risk in small children. In addition, this technique provides necessary clinical information with a reduction in image acquisition time, monitoring equipment, and monitoring staff.