Compendium of national guidelines for imaging of the pediatric patient
Background Diagnostic imaging plays an integral role in diagnosing and managing many pediatric disorders, but there is growing concern in both the medical community and the general public about the long-term health effects of ionizing radiation in children, as well as utilization of imaging evaluation. These concerns, coupled with increasing pressure to reduce national health care spending, underscore the need for an assessment of readily available guidelines, especially evidence-based guidelines, for imaging in children. Objective To generate a list of national medical organization-endorsed guidelines with provisions for imaging the pediatric patient. Materials and methods Several resources, including the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) and the Web sites of major medical organizations, were searched for documents that contained specific recommendations for imaging in the pediatric population. Results A total of 155 guidelines from 40 medical organizations met inclusion criteria and are represented in our compendium. Conclusions The compendium generated in this study can be used to direct clinical care, inform policy development and improve education of health care personnel. Additionally, the compendium can be used to identify areas of redundancy or deficiency, which may stimulate the reassessment of existing recommendations as well as the creation of new guidelines.