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Injury. 1997 Nov-Dec;28(9-10):667-70.

Role of ultrasonography in blunt abdominal trauma.

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Department of Surgery, PostGraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India.


Patients with blunt abdominal trauma (BAT) often have equivocal signs of intra-abdominal injury. Diagnostic peritoneal lavage (DPL) has been the 'gold standard' for evaluating these patients, the use of ultrasound (US) being a recent phenomenon. Seventy-three patients with BAT and equivocal physical signs were subjected to both DPL and US for detection of intra-abdominal injury. Based on clinical status, DPL and US findings, the patients underwent laparotomy or non-operative management. DPL was positive in 35 patients. There was one false positive and one false negative result (sensitivity 97.1%, specificity 97.4%, accuracy 97.3%). US was positive in 31 patients. There were 5 false positive and 4 false negative results (sensitivity 86.7%, specificity 88.4%, accuracy 87.7%). Solid viscus injury was documented at laparotomy in 24 patients. DPL failed to detect one pancreatic injury, while US failed to detect 4 splenic and 2 liver injuries. US additionally detected a single case of haemopericardium. Although DPL outperformed US in this study, US can complement DPL in defining the organs injured and in follow up of patients undergoing non-operative management for BAT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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