Traumatic injuries: imaging of abdominal and pelvic injuries
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The availability of new imaging modalities has altered the diagnostic approach to patients with abdominal and pelvic trauma. Computed tomography and ultrasound have largely replaced diagnostic peritoneal lavage. Ultrasound is used in most trauma centers as the initial imaging technique for the detection of hemoperitoneum and helps to determine the need for emergency laparotomy. Computed tomography allows for an accurate diagnosis of a wide range of traumatic abdominal and pelvic conditions. The speed of single-detector helical and multi-detector row CT (MDCT) permits a rapid CT examination of the seriously ill patient in the emergency room. In particular, the technology of MDCT permits multiple, sequential CT scans to be quickly obtained in the same patient, which is a great advance in the rapid assessment of the multiple-injured patient. The evolving concepts in trauma care promoting non-operative management of liver and splenic injuries creates the need for follow-up cross-sectional imaging studies in these patients. Computed tomography and, less frequently, MR or ultrasound, are used for this purpose.
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