The trauma concept: the role of MDCT in the diagnosis and management of visceral injuries
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The imaging concept in the acute trauma victim includes abdominal ultrasonography during initial triage, and contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) for further assessment of visceral organ injuries and active bleeding sites if haemodynamic stability can be established during initial resuscitation. Integration of modern multidector CT (MDCT) scanners in the emergency admission area greatly facilitates initial assessment of the extent of injuries in all body regions, and is therefore the emerging standard in all major centres involved in acute trauma care. Initial assessment of visceral injuries by means of CT not only allows determining the presence and extent of organ injuries and detecting active bleeding sources that may require transarterial embolisation for haemostasis, but also serves as a baseline for monitoring of conservative treatment. Specific indications for CT monitoring of conservative treatment exist in each individual organ. This concept enables the vast majority of blunt injuries of the parenchymal abdominal organs in the haemodynamically stable trauma victim to be managed without surgery.