Blunt Abdominal Trauma from Motor Vehicle Collisions from 2007 to 2011: Renal Injury Probability and Severity in Children versus Adults

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There are sparse data directly comparing the probability of renal injury in children and adults. The kidney of the child is believed to be more susceptible to blunt injury for a variety of anatomical reasons. In a large cohort we tested the hypothesis that the pediatric kidney is more susceptible to any renal injury and to higher grade injury.

Materials and Methods:

We queried the NTDB® (National Trauma Data Bank®) on all hospital admissions following motor vehicle collisions in a pediatric population (age less than 21 years) and a referent adult population (age 30 to 50 years). Of 111,172 children who were admitted after motor vehicle collisions 1,093 had renal injury.


Of the 111,172 children admitted to the hospital following motor vehicle collisions 59,385 had abdominal trauma and 1,093 had renal injury. In a multivariate logistic model adjusting for overall ISS (Injury Severity Score), region, year, driver/passenger status, presence of restraint or an airbag, we found that children had 48% higher odds of renal injury compared to adults ages 30 to 50 years (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.32–1.66, p <0.001). Furthermore, children were at 33% higher risk for high grade renal injury (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.05–1.69, p = 0.919). The effect remained when restricting analysis to patients with concomitant liver and spleen injuries (p <0.001).


In a large national cohort of children, blunt renal injury following motor vehicle collisions is rare but substantially more common than in adults. The odds of high grade renal injury are approximately 50% higher in children. A greater index of suspicion and a lower threshold for renal imaging is prudent for children with blunt abdominal trauma from motor vehicle collisions.

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