Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 39, Issue 9, pp 962–968 | Cite as

Follow-up skeletal surveys for nonaccidental trauma: can a more limited survey be performed?

  • Susan R. Harlan
  • G. William Nixon
  • Kristine A. Campbell
  • Karen Hansen
  • Jeffrey S. PrinceEmail author
Original Article



Studies have demonstrated the value of the follow-up skeletal survey in identifying additional fractures, clarifying indeterminate findings, and improving dating of skeletal injuries in victims of physical abuse.


To determine whether a more limited follow-up survey could yield the same radiologic data as a full follow-up survey.

Materials and methods

The study cohort comprised 101 children who had follow-up surveys that met our inclusion criteria. Consensus readings of both original and follow-up surveys were performed by two pediatric radiologists. These results were compared to determine additional findings from the follow-up surveys. Limited skeletal survey protocols were evaluated to determine whether they would detect the same fractures seen with a complete osseous survey.


In the 101 children 244 fractures were identified on the initial osseous survey. Follow-up surveys demonstrated new information in 38 children (37.6%). A 15-view limited follow-up survey identified all additional information seen on the complete follow-up survey.


Our data demonstrate that a 15-view limited follow-up skeletal survey could be performed without missing clinically significant new fractures and still allow proper identification of confirmed fractures or normal findings. A limited survey would decrease radiation dose in children.


Child abuse Skeletal survey 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan R. Harlan
    • 1
  • G. William Nixon
    • 2
  • Kristine A. Campbell
    • 3
  • Karen Hansen
    • 3
  • Jeffrey S. Prince
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical ImagingPrimary Children’s Medical CenterSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA

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