Accuracy of Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network Rules in Predicting Brain Injuries

Document Type : Original Article


1 Emergency and Trauma Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, IR Iran

2 Road Traffic Injury Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, IR Iran



Background and Objectives: Head trauma is one of the most important causes of emergency department (ED) visits and the leading cause of disability and mortality in children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) rules to predict brain injuries in pediatrics with head trauma. Materials and Methods: This descriptive–analytic study was performed on 250 pediatric patients with head trauma referred to Imam Reza Hospital in Tabriz City from August to September 2020. All patients were evaluated in the ED for the existing of any rules of the PECARN, then the results of the PECARN rules and brain computed tomography (CT) scan findings were compared in these patients. According to the PECARN rules, patients were classified into three categories, namely low, moderate, and high risk. For all three groups, if there is an indication of brain CT scan, it was performed and reported by an emergency medicine specialist. Results: The mean age of the patients was 88 months. In this study, 162 (64.8%), 42 (16.8%), and 46 (18.4%) patients were in the low-risk, moderate-risk, and high-risk groups, respectively. Death was occurred in 18 (12.8%) patients. Results showed a statistically significant association between positive CT findings and some variables, such as behavioral change, vomiting, severe headache, LOC over 5 s, confusion, palpable skull fracture, skull base fracture, and the severe mechanism of injury (P < 0.05). Furthermore, a statistically significant association was found between PECARN rules and CT findings (P < 0.001). Conclusions: According to the results of the present study, PECARN rules have a significant association with brain CT scan findings. Therefore, using these rules is recommended to reduce the number of brain CT scan requests for pediatric patients.


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