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Value of computed tomography in the evaluation of retroperitoneal organ injury in blunt abdominal trauma

Authors
Journal
The American Journal of Emergency Medicine
0735-6757
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
16
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0735-6757(98)90088-2
Keywords
  • Computed Tomography
  • Abdominal Trauma
  • Renal Trauma
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Computed tomography (CT) is widely used in the evaluation of blunt abdominal trauma. One of its purported advantages is in the evaluation of the retroperitoneum. This study was undertaken to determine the utility of CT in diagnosing retroperitoneal organ injury. A retrospective chart review of 466 stable patients with blunt abdominal trauma who received abdominal CT was conducted. Twelve percent of the patients had CT scans showing retroperitoneal organ injury. There were 58 total injuries, with the kidney being the most frequently injured organ. Twenty-four patients required laparotomy, confirming the CT diagnosis in 8 patients (7 renal and 1 pancreatic). Two duodenal injuries were found at laparotomy that had not been seen on CT scan. Fourteen percent of the patients with positive CT scans had a positive laparotomy, and of those, 38% were therapeutic. Five percent of the patients with positive scans had therapeutic laparotomies. These data infer that the utility of CT to define retroperitoneal organ injury is lower than previously suspected.

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