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Original research
Safety of diagnostic spinal angiography in children


Background Spinal angiography (SA) is associated with low complications in adults but its safety in children has not been properly analyzed. The goal of our study is to assess the safety of pediatric SA.

Methods This study is the retrospective analysis of a series of 36 consecutive SA procedures performed in 27 children over a 5-year period. Parameters including neurological complications, non-neurological complications requiring additional management, contrast volume, and radiation exposure were analyzed via univariate and bivariate methods.

Results Our cohort included 24 diagnostic and 12 combined therapeutic cases in children with an average age of 11.1 years. No neurological or non-neurological complication requiring additional management was recorded. The average volume of contrast administered was 1.6 mL/kg in the diagnostic group and 0.9 mL/kg in the combined group. The average air kerma was 186.9mGy for an average of 36.8 exposures in the diagnostic group, and 264.5mGy for an average of 21 exposures in the combined group. Patients in the combined group had lower contrast load (45% lower on average) and higher air kerma (1.6 times higher on average). The difference in air kerma was due to a higher live fluoroscopy-related exposure.

Conclusions This study reports the largest pediatric SA cohort analyzed to date and the only one including radiation dose and contrast load. It confirms that pediatric SA is a safe imaging modality with low risk of complications, and demonstrates that SA can be performed in children with low radiation exposure and contrast load.

  • angiography
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