Thoracic trauma is the most common injury in polytrauma patients, with an incidence rate of 45–65%, and the most common cause of trauma deaths (about 20 % of all deaths), second only to head injuries.
In the time-sensitive acute care setting, efficiency and rapidity are basic. The Chest-X-Ray (CXR) may be considered as an adjunct to the initial assessment or primary survey of unstable traumatic patients. It helps to identify a tension pneumothorax (PNX) and pleural effusions that may suggest a hemothorax, until further evidence.
MultiSlice Computed Tomography (MSCT) is always the last step of the diagnostic procedures for stable patients, regardless of the positive or negative results on CXR, being the gold standard for the radiologic evaluation of the chest in traumatic patients.
This chapter will review the wide spectrum of radiographic and MSCT findings in patients undergoing a thoracic trauma, both blunt and penetrating, with a particular focus on the role of the radiologist in the management of major trauma, together with the “trauma team”.
Blunt Chest Trauma Thoracic Trauma Advance Trauma Life Support Tension Pneumothorax Pulmonary Contusion
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