Head injuries are an important problem in pediatric emergency care. The majority of head injuries are mild. Even when abnormalities are noted on computed tomography (CT), most patients have good outcomes. We aimed to evaluate the clinical course of pediatric patients who had head injuries and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores of 15, in whom abnormal findings were noted on head CT, to determine the impact of radiographic features on the need for hospitalization and clinical progression.
We retrospectively examined patients under 15 years of age with isolated mild head injuries, GCS scores of 15, and abnormal CT findings, and visited the emergency department between September 2011 and March 2019.
Ninety-nine patients were included in the study. The median age was 2 years (0-15 years), and 61 (62%) patients were male. Eighty-six (87%) patients were hospitalized, and the median hospital stay was 1 day (1-10 days). Sixty-eight (69%) patients underwent repeat CT, and 12 (18%) patients showed signs of radiographic progression. These 12 patients had subdural or epidural hematomas, and surgical intervention was required for two patients (2%). In patients with isolated skull fracture or subarachnoid hemorrhage alone, no deterioration was noted radiographically or clinically.
Pediatric head injuries with GCS scores of 15 may rarely require surgical intervention, even when CT shows abnormalities. In particular, patients diagnosed with isolated skull fracture or subarachnoid hemorrhage on CT may not require routine hospitalization. A validation study is needed to confirm the findings of this study.

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