Blunt abdominal trauma in adults: role of CT in the diagnosis and management of visceral injuries Part 2: Gastrointestinal tract and retroperitoneal organs
Computed tomography plays an important role in the detection and management of blunt visceral injuries in adults. Current standard examination techniques enable detection of the majority of perforating or devascularizing bowel injuries, although diagnostic findings are often subtle and meticulous inspection is required. Computed tomography may demonstrate pancreatic contusions and lacerations and help in distinguishing minor traumatic lesions without involvement of the pancreatic duct (organ injury scale, grades I and II) from deep lacerations with ductal involvement (grades III and V). Computed tomography enables distinguishing renal contusions and minor cortical lacerations that can usually be managed conservatively (injuries of grades I–III) from corticomedullary lacerations and injuries of the major renal vessels (grades IV and V) that have a less favorable prognosis and more commonly require surgical repair. In addition, CT is well suited for the detection of active renal hemorrhage and guidance of transcatheter embolization treatment and delineation of preexisting benign or malignant pathologies that may predispose to posttraumatic hemorrhage. The radiologist's awareness of the diagnostic CT findings of abdominal visceral injuries as well as their clinical and surgical implications are important prerequisites for optimal patient management.
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