Emergency Radiology

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 259–266 | Cite as

Blunt pancreatic trauma: evaluation with MDCT technology

  • Robert W. Gordon
  • Stephan W. AndersonEmail author
  • Al Ozonoff
  • Satinder Rekhi
  • Jorge A. Soto
Original Article


The purpose of this paper is to determine the relative frequency of multi-detector CT (MDCT) findings of pancreatic injury in blunt trauma and to determine their diagnostic accuracy in predicting main pancreatic duct injury. Fifty-three patients (31 male, 22 female; mean 44.1 years) with blunt trauma and admission MDCT findings suspicious for pancreatic injury or who underwent MDCT and had a discharge diagnosis of pancreatic trauma were included in this study. Two radiologists reviewed all images and recorded findings suspicious for pancreatic injury, which were subsequently compared to surgical findings to generate diagnostic accuracy. MDCT imaging findings suggestive of pancreatic injury included low attenuation peripancreatic fluid (n = 51), hyperattenuating peripancreatic fluid (n = 13), pancreatic contusion (n = 7), active hemorrhage (n = 2), and pancreatic laceration (n = 16). Diagnostic accuracy of the various imaging findings varied for diagnosing main duct injury; there were highly sensitive, nonspecific imaging findings such as the presence of low attenuation peripancreatic fluid (sensitivity, 100 %; specificity 4.9 %) as well as insensitive, specific findings such as visualizing a pancreatic laceration involving >50 % of the parenchymal width (sensitivity, 50 %; specificity, 95.1 %). In the setting of blunt abdominal trauma, MDCT imaging findings can be grouped into two categories for determining integrity of the main pancreatic duct: indirect, highly sensitive but nonspecific findings and direct, specific but insensitive findings. Awareness of the clinical implications of the various MDCT imaging findings of pancreatic trauma is useful in interpreting their significance.


Blunt pancreatic trauma Multi-detector CT Diagnostic accuracy in predicting main pancreatic duct injury 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Am Soc Emergency Radiol 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Gordon
    • 1
  • Stephan W. Anderson
    • 2
    Email author
  • Al Ozonoff
    • 3
  • Satinder Rekhi
    • 4
  • Jorge A. Soto
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyBoston University Medical CenterBostonUSA
  3. 3.Biostatistics Core, Children’s Hospital BostonClinical Research ProgramBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyGeorge Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA

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