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BJU Int. 2012 Sep;110(5):744-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10901.x. Epub 2012 Feb 7.

Management of severe blunt renal trauma in adult patients: a 10-year retrospective review from an emergency hospital.

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Urology Unit and Imaging Department and Cannizzaro Emergency Hospital, Catania, Italy.


What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? Immediate surgery for major renal truma has led to a high rate of nephrectomy in comparison with an expectant management. We reviewed our case material on the management of severe blunt renal trauma in adults with emphasis on conservative management. Only shattered kidneys and pedicle avulsion required immediate surgery.


To review retrospectively the management of major blunt renal truma in adult patients admitted to our level I trauma centre.


Among 1460 blunt abdominal trauma cases collected from January 2001 to December 2010, 221 (15%) affected the kidneys. All patients, except seven who needed immediate laparotomy, underwent a computed tomography scan to stage the injuries. Renal injuries were graded according to the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma Grading System; grade 4 and 5 injuries were subclassified based on vascular or parenchymal injury.


Only 45/221 patients (20%) suffered major blunt renal trauma (21 grade 3, 18 grade 4 and six grade 5); 43% of the patients had associated lesions and 77% had gross haematuria. Nephrectomy rates were 9% for grade 3, 22% for grade 4 and 83% for grade 5 with an exploration rate of 26% for major renal trauma.


Conservative management of grade 3-5 blunt renal trauma in haemodynamically stable patients yields more favourable results with high renal salvage rate. Grade 5 injuries still result in a nephrectomy rate of more than 80%. The absence of data on long-term outcomes and a potential inclusion bias due to the retrospective nature of the data represent major limitations of this review.

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