The Role of Ultrasound in Pediatric Skull Fractures: Determination of Fracture and Optic Nerve Sheath Diameter Measurements

Şik N., Öztürk A., YILMAZ D., DUMAN M.

Pediatric Emergency Care, vol.39, no.2, pp.91-97, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 39 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/pec.0000000000002895
  • Journal Name: Pediatric Emergency Care
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.91-97
  • Keywords: optic nerve sheath diameter, skull fracture, ultrasound
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


© 2023 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.Background The aim of the present study was to determine the accuracy of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) for detecting skull fractures and to evaluate sonographic measurements of optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) and ONSD/eyeball vertical diameter (EVD) ratios in children with head trauma. Methods Children who presented with local signs of head trauma and underwent cranial computed tomography (CT) were enrolled. The suspected area was examined by POCUS to identify a skull fracture, and then the ONSD at 3 mm posterior to the globe and the EVD were measured. Ratios of ONSD measurement at 3 mm/EVD were reported. All ONSD measurements and ratios were calculated from cranial CT images. Results There were 112 children enrolled in the study. The sensitivity and specificity of POCUS for skull fractures was 93.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 82.8-98.6) and 96.8% (95% CI, 89.1-99.6), whereas the positive predictive value was 95.7% (95% CI, 85.1-98.8), and the negative predictive value was 95.3% (95% CI, 87.3-98.4). There was high agreement between POCUS and CT for identifying skull fractures (κ, 0.90 [±0.04]). In the group without elevated intracranial pressure findings on CT, patients with space-occupying lesions (SOLs) had higher sonographic ONSD measurements and ratios (P < 0.001) compared with cases without SOLs. Conclusions When used with clinical decision rules to minimize the risk for clinically important traumatic brain injury, POCUS seems to be a promising tool to detect skull fractures and calculate ONSD measurements and rates to predict the risk for SOLs and perform further risk stratification of children with minor head trauma.