Magnetic resonance imaging offers a better option than x-rays when examining certain low-impact neck injuries in children, according to a new study published in Child’s Nervous System, the journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery. For this type of cervical imaging, the study found that MRI has a greater sensitivity and specificity when compared to radiography.
Lead author Justin Moore, M.D., and colleagues reviewed the cases of 47 patients under the age of 18 who were symptomatic for injury following cervical trauma. MRI was able to detect cases of ligament damage, which were not readily seen in the cervical spine series of radiograph images. “Our data call into question the routine use of CSS radiographs in children,” the authors concluded.
The study used data from a retrospective review of pediatric patients with symptoms of cervical spine injury and low-impact trauma who were admitted to Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, Australia, between July 2011 and June 2015.
The Australian study aimed to establish an optimal imaging strategy for this subgroup of trauma patients noting that there are currently no well-established diagnostic guidelines.