La radiologia medica

, Volume 120, Issue 7, pp 641–654 | Cite as

The key role of the radiologist in the management of polytrauma patients: indications for MDCT imaging in emergency radiology

  • Gerd Schueller
  • Mariano Scaglione
  • Ulrich Linsenmaier
  • Claudia Schueller-Weidekamm
  • Chiara AndreoliEmail author
  • Marina De Vargas Macciucca
  • Gianfranco Gualdi


Trauma causes greater losses of life years and it is the most common cause of death for people under the age of 45. Time is one of the most relevant factors for the survival of injured patients, particularly the time elapsed from trauma until the resuscitation procedures. As a member of the trauma team, the radiologist contributes to the rapid diagnosis of traumatic disorders, with appropriate imaging modalities. Based on the evidence, the most appropriate diagnostic tool for severe/multiple trauma is computed tomography (CT). With the advent of multidetector CT (MDCT), radiologists are able to more effectively characterize life-threatening traumatic disorders within a few seconds in stable or stabilized patients. Considering the diagnostic potential of MDCT, conventional radiographs could be virtually abandoned in the diagnostic algorithms for adult polytraumatized patients. The radiologist helps to facilitate triage and to assess the optimal individual treatment for polytrauma patients, thus contributing to the improvement of patient outcomes. In this article, the indications for MDCT in the polytrauma setting are discussed.


Trauma Polytrauma Multiple trauma Computed tomography Multidetector computed tomography Diagnosis Management 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerd Schueller
    • 1
  • Mariano Scaglione
    • 1
  • Ulrich Linsenmaier
    • 1
  • Claudia Schueller-Weidekamm
    • 1
  • Chiara Andreoli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marina De Vargas Macciucca
    • 1
  • Gianfranco Gualdi
    • 1
  1. 1.RomeItaly

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