BACKGROUND: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is a United Kingdom nondepartmental public body accountable to the Department of Health.
Before the introduction of the NICE guidelines in the United Kingdom most children younger than 1 year of age had a urinary tract ultrasound, cyclic micturating cystourethrogram and dimercaptosuccinic acid scintigraphy, the latter delayed 6 months post infection. Children older than 1 year had a urinary tract ultrasound only, and further imaging if necessary.
OBJECTIVE: Identify who would have been investigated had the NICE imaging strategy been used and who would not. Compare the diagnostic yield and patient outcome with the previous imaging protocol using our prospectively collected historical data.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We applied the new imaging strategy to a historic cohort of 934 patients with a urinary tract infection (UTI) referred by general practitioners to a specialist children's hospital between 1996 and 2002.
RESULTS: Of the 934 patients referred, 218 would have been investigated according to the NICE guidelines. In total, there were 105 patients with abnormal imaging findings, and 44 of these (42%) would have been investigated under the NICE guidelines.
CONCLUSION: Applying the NICE guidelines to children presenting with UTI will reduce the number imaged by 77% and will lead to missed identification of 58% of imaging abnormalities in the group. The majority of these abnormalities may be important. While supporting conservative investigation protocols, we are concerned that many abnormalities might go undetected.
McDonald K, Kenney I. Are you the author?
Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1BB, UK.
Reference: Pediatr Radiol. 2014 Sep;44(9):1085-92.