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Am J Emerg Med. 2008 Jun;26(5):630.e5-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2007.09.013.

The "gastric fluid" sign: an unrecognized false-positive finding during focused assessment for trauma examinations.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, The Warren Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University, Providence, RI 02903, USA.


The FAST exam has become the current standard for free intraperitoneal fluid determination in most emergency departments. Knowledge of false negative and false positive findings is imperative to improve accuracy. We detail a case in which an important false positive findings previously not discussed in the medical literature was noted. The ability of the physician to recognize the "gastric fluid" sign and make the adjustments accordingly could improve the specificity of the FAST exam, preventing non-therapeutic laparotomies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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