Unnecessary Brain CT Scan and MRI Prescriptions for Evaluation of Children Suffering from Headache Referring to Namazi Hospital of Shiraz

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor of Pediatric Neurology, Neuroscience Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

2 MSc, Health Human Resources Research Center, School of Management and Medical Informatics, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

3 MD, Neuroscience Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

4 Assistant Professor of Pediatric Intensive Care, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

5 Associate Professor of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Administration, Health Human Resources Research Center, School of Management and Medical Informatics, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.



Background and Objectives Despite the significant role of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans in diagnosing diseases, unnecessary prescriptions of these imaging techniques may lead to adverse consequences, imposing a heavy financial burden on patients and health systems. The present study aimed to assess the unnecessary use of imaging services for the evaluation of children suffering from headaches in Namazi Hospital in Shiraz in 2020.. Subjects and Methods The research population of this retrospective study included all children who were referred to Namazi Hospital with the chief complaint of headache in 2019. Since the research sample was equal to the research population, no sampling was performed, and all individuals were surveyed through the census method. The data were analyzed in SPSS software (version 19) using statistical methods. Results Of the 54 brain MRIs performed, 7.4% were necessary, and 92.5% were unnecessary. Moreover, regarding 81 brain CT scans performed, 8.6% were necessary and 91.3% were not. The indication and insurance status had a significant positive relationship with the necessity of brain MRI and CT scan prescriptions (P<0.05). The total financial burden imposed by unnecessary brain MRIs and brain CT scans of the studied patients in Shiraz Namazi Hospital was 158,298,588 Iranian Rials in 2020.
Conclusion The results pointed out that over 90% of the brain MRIs and CT scans prescribed for children with headaches were unnecessary, which could impose unnecessary patient costs. Therefore, it seems essential to use effective clinical guidelines for the proper administration of brain MRI and CT scans.


Hamid Nemati [PumMed] [Google Scholar]

Mehrnoosh Emadi [PumMed] [Google Scholar]

Mehdi Salehian [PumMed] [Google Scholar]

Eslam Shorafa [PumMed] [Google Scholar]

Khosro Keshavarz [PumMed] [Google Scholar]


Main Subjects

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Journal of Medical Sciences
September & October 2024. Vol 22. No 4
Nemati H, et al. Brain CT Scan and MRI of Children. JSMJ. 2024; 22(4): 401-411
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