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Eur J Radiol. 2003 Oct;48(1):61-70.

Imaging of chest trauma: radiological patterns of injury and diagnostic algorithms.

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Department of Radiology, University of Vienna Medical School, AKH Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.


In patients after chest trauma, imaging plays a key role for both, the primary diagnostic work-up, and the secondary assessment of potential treatment. Despite its well-known limitations, the anteroposterior chest radiograph remains the starting point of the imaging work-up. Adjunctive imaging with computed tomography, that recently is increasingly often performed on multidetector computed tomography units, adds essential information not readily available on the conventional radiograph. This allows better definition of trauma-associated thoracic injuries not only in acute traumatic aortic injury, but also in pulmonary, tracheobronchial, cardiac, diaphragmal, and thoracic skeletal injuries. This article reviews common radiographic findings in patients after chest trauma, shows typical imaging features resulting from thoracic injury, presents imaging algorithms, and recalls to the reader less common but clinically relevant entities encountered in patients after thoracic trauma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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