Evaluation of Neurosurgical Emergencies in the Pediatric Emergency Department: Clinical Warning Signs

Yaradilmiş R. M., Bodur İ., Güneylioğlu M. M., Öztürk B., Göktuğ A., Aydin O., ...More

Pediatric Neurology, vol.150, pp.107-112, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 150
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2023.10.010
  • Journal Name: Pediatric Neurology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.107-112
  • Keywords: Children, Neuroimaging, Neurosurgical emergencies, Pediatric emergency department, Warning signs
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: Yes


Background: We aimed to evaluate the patients who underwent neuroimaging with suspicion of neurosurgery pathology and identify the clinical warning signs for the early recognition of neurosurgical emergencies. Methods: Patients aged one month to 18 years who underwent neuroimaging with a preliminary diagnosis of intracranial pathology requiring emergency surgery and symptom duration less than one month were included in the study. Patients were divided into three groups according to their definitive diagnosis as neurosurgical emergencies, neurological emergencies, and nonurgents. Results: A total of 140 patients were included in the study (the median age was 8 [interquartile range IQR 3 to 13] years and 52.8% were male). Neurosurgery emergency group and neurological emergency group were significantly younger than the nonurgent group (P < 0.001). Vomiting, meningeal irritation findings, and papilledema (grade 2 and above) were more common in the neurosurgical emergency group (P 0.029, 0.023, and < 0.001, respectively). For neurosurgical emergencies, in the presence of papilledema (grade 2 and above) and focal neurological deficit, the specificity was 99.2%, positive predictive value (PPV) 83.3%, negative predictive value (NPV) 88.1%, and odds ratio (OR) 36.8 (P < 0.001, confidence interval [CI] 4.04 to 336.0); in the presence of altered consciousness and focal neurological deficit, the specificity was 97.5%, PPV 50%, NPV 86.6%, and OR 6.4 (P = 0.014, CI 1.20 to 34.4). Conclusions: Younger age, presence of vomiting, signs of meningeal irritation, papilledema grade 2 and above, and altered consciousness are the crucial “warning signs” of a potential neurosurgical emergency.