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Dermatology Online Journal

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Movement artifacts in pediatric cutaneous ultrasonography


Background: Cutaneous ultrasonography can be challenging in children. We aim to identify the most complicated cases and the best timing for assessment.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed sonographic exams in pediatric patients from our cutaneous ultrasonography clinic over a two-year period. Movement artifacts were classified according to their consequences and their frequency was studied in relation to the age of the patient, location of the lesion, and underlying pathology.

Results: The overall frequency of exams affected by movement artifacts was 16.76% (91/543) and all belonged to children younger than 4 years of age. The frequency of impaired sonographies was particularly low in patients aged 0 to 4 months (12.77%; 6/47) and particularly high in children aged from 4 to 12 months (56.60%; 60/106). Regarding location, exams were more frequently disadvantaged when assessing the head and neck area (44.53%; 61/137). In relation to pathology, developmental anomalies showed a significantly higher frequency of exams damaged by movement artifacts (41.82%; 23/55).

Conclusions: Cutaneous ultrasonography without sedation can be particularly difficult in children aged between 4 and 12 months, especially when lesions are located on the head and neck and a Doppler exam is required. When assessing congenital lesions, the first four months of life are ideal for a first examination.

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