Ultrasound in Pediatric Emergencies

Gaurav Saigal, MD, Jennifer Runco Therrien, MD, and Frank Kuo, BS


Appl Radiol. 2014;43(8) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Ultrasound (US) imaging has several advantages over other radiologic imaging modalities, particularly in the emergency department (ED). It is a low cost, non-invasive, easily accessible and painless imaging modality that can be quickly performed at the bedside of an unstable or very ill patient. It is easily reproducible and can be repeated multiple times without any risk. However, the greatest advantage of US over other imaging modalities, such as computed tomography (CT), is the absence of ionizing radiation. As evidence of harmful effects of radiation due to CT continues to increase, US is gaining greater acceptance as the imaging modality of choice in the pediatric emergency setting. The main disadvantage of US is operator dependence. This review article highlights the use of US in evaluating common emergency conditions in children presenting to the ED.