OBJECTIVE: To evaluate trends and patterns in CT usage among children (aged 0-17 years) in The Netherlands during the period 1990-2012.
METHODS: Lists of electronically archived paediatric CT scans were requested from the Radiology Information Systems (RIS) of Dutch hospitals which reported >10 paediatric CT scans annually in a survey conducted in 2010. Data included patient identification, birth date, gender, scan date and body part scanned. For non-participating hospitals and for years prior to electronic archiving in some participating hospitals, data were imputed by calendar year and hospital type (academic, general with <500 beds, general with ≥ 500 beds).
RESULTS: Based on 236,066 CT scans among 146,368 patients performed between 1990 and 2012, estimated annual numbers of paediatric CT scans in The Netherlands increased from 7,731 in 1990 to 26,023 in 2012. More than 70 % of all scans were of the head and neck. During the last decade, substantial increases of more than 5 % per year were observed in general hospitals with fewer than 500 beds and among children aged 10 years or older.
CONCLUSION: The estimated number of paediatric CT scans has more than tripled in The Netherlands during the last two decades.
KEY POINTS: • Paediatric CT in The Netherlands has tripled during the last two decades. • The number of paediatric CTs increased through 2012 in general hospitals. • Paediatric CTs continued to increase among children aged 10 years or older.