Clinical Decision Rule to Identify Orbital Wall Fracture Among Children: Retrospective Derivation and Validation Study

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Abstract

Objectives

Head and face injuries are leading causes of emergency department visits in children. There is yet no clinical decision rule on face CT such as pediatric head CT rules. The goal was to develop and validate a clinical decision rule for identifying orbital wall fractures in children with periorbital trauma in the emergency department.

Methods

This was a retrospective derivation and validation study. Children younger than 18 years who underwent orbit CT after periorbital trauma were included between January 2011 and December 2013 in 3 emergency centers. Among 16 candidate clinical variables, 13 clinical signs and symptoms were selected as clinical predictors. For the fracture model, these clinical predictors were analyzed by 3-fold cross-validation. Diagnostic performance was assessed using the area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve in both cohorts.

Results

Four variables (orbital rim tenderness, periorbital ecchymosis, painful extraocular movement, and nausea/vomiting) had the best predictive model with the highest AUROC value. The AUROC values for fracture prediction were 0.793 (95% confidence interval, 0.741–0.844) and 0.809 (95% confidence interval, 0.742–0.877) in the derivation cohort and validation cohort, respectively. The sensitivity and negative predictive values were 96.4% and 93.4%, respectively, in the derivation cohort, and 97.8% and 98.1%, respectively, in the validation cohort. The sum of these scores ranged from 0 to 4. Patients with a sum of scores of 1 or higher showed significantly increased risk for fracture.

Conclusions

The 4-variable predictive model can be useful for finding clinically important orbital wall fractures in children.

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