Computed tomography and nonoperative treatment for blunt abdominal trauma
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Studies were undertaken to determine if computed tomography (CT) could reliably assist physical examination in the initial assessment of blunt abdominal trauma, and also to examine how various abdominal injuries were managed with the guidance of CT. A total of 255 patients underwent emergency abdominal CT following blunt abdominal trauma over a period of seven years. One hundred and fifty two patients had abnormal CT scans, including 58 hepatic, 36 renal, 25 splenic and 9 pancreatic injuries as well as 67 patients with intra-abdominal hemorrhage and 21 patients with free abdominal air. A comparative study on the detection of pneumoperitoneum revealed CT to be far superior to plain radiography. One hundred and three patients had normal CT scans, all of whom were managed nonoperatively, except for three false-negative cases and two nontherapeutic cases. The patients with injury to the parenchymal organs were given nonoperative treatment if they had stable vital signs and no evidence of associated injuries demanding immediate surgery and the majority of these patients were managed well nonoperatively. CT was thus found to be a useful adjunct in the management of victims of blunt abdominal trauma, since in a rapid and noninvasive fashion, CT accurately defined the extent of parenchymal organ injury and also disclosed any other abdominal injuries.
Key Wordsblunt abdominal trauma computed tomography nonoperative treatment
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