La radiologia medica

, Volume 120, Issue 1, pp 3–11 | Cite as

The role of CEUS in the assessment of haemodynamically stable patients with blunt abdominal trauma

  • Fabio Pinto
  • Massimo Valentino
  • Laura Romanini
  • Raffaella Basilico
  • Vittorio Miele


Computed tomography (CT) still represents the preferred imaging method in the assessment of patients presenting with multiple trauma. Nevertheless, in patients with low-energy abdominal trauma, the use of CT is debated because of the possible unnecessary radiation exposure. Accordingly, conventional ultrasound (US) imaging has been increasingly employed as the initial imaging modality in the workup of minor traumatic emergency conditions. Focused assessment with sonography for trauma is widely used to detect free intra-abdominal fluid, but its role is controversial, because the absence of free fluid does not exclude the presence of injuries to abdominal organ. Injection of an ultrasound contrast agent (UCA) may give the radiologist relevant additional information to that obtained with conventional US. Thus, in trauma patients, following early assessment with conventional US imaging, a contrast-enhanced US (CEUS) can provide a more reliable evaluation of solid organ injuries and related vascular complications, including active bleeding, pseudoaneurysms, and artero-venous fistulas. CEUS cannot replace abdominal CT, but it represents a noninvasive and repeatable imaging tool capable of providing a reliable assessment of trauma severity and expedite the patient’s treatment.


Ultrasound Contrast media Trauma Emergency radiology 


Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabio Pinto
    • 1
  • Massimo Valentino
    • 2
  • Laura Romanini
    • 3
  • Raffaella Basilico
    • 4
  • Vittorio Miele
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic Radiological ImagingMarcianise HospitalASL CasertaItaly
  2. 2.Diagnostic Radiology DepartmentS. Antonio Abate HospitalTolmezzoItaly
  3. 3.Istituto di Radiologia, Policlinico S. MatteoUniversita’ di PaviaPaviaItaly
  4. 4.Istituto di RadiologiaUniversita’ di ChietiChietiItaly
  5. 5.UOC di Diagnostica per Immagini Cardiovascolare e d’UrgenzaAzienda Ospedaliera S. Camillo-ForlaniniRomeItaly

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