Traumatic Diaphragmatic Injuries

  • Michele Tonerini
  • Silvia Lorenzi
  • Francesca Pancrazi
  • Barbara Mugellini
  • Alessandra Scionti
  • Veronica Iodice


A traumatic diaphragmatic injury (TDI) is a severe lesion that may be caused both by blunt and penetrating trauma, with ratio being different from country to country and derived from social and economic factors. Despite chest X-ray may directly or indirectly suggest the possibility of TDI, whole-body computed tomography represents the examination of choice to demonstrate such a lesion. TDI detection is fundamental in order to avoid delayed critical complications that may be fatal, like visceral intrathoracic herniation with risk of acute respiratory failure and organ strangulation. This is the reason why early diagnosis and prompt surgical repair are mandatory. Nevertheless, TDI often remains undiagnosed depending on the presence of subtle clinical/radiological signs and very frequent concomitant multiorgan life-threatening lesions that overshadow the diaphragm involvement. Therefore, the emergency radiologist should be confident about specific and nonspecific signs of TDI and get familiar with the mechanism of injury, in order to maintain a high degree of suspicion and inform both the emergency clinician and surgeon in time.


Trauma Trauma imaging Polytrauma Diaphragmatic injuries Computed tomography (CT) 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele Tonerini
    • 1
  • Silvia Lorenzi
    • 2
  • Francesca Pancrazi
    • 2
  • Barbara Mugellini
    • 2
  • Alessandra Scionti
    • 2
  • Veronica Iodice
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Emergency RadiologyCisanello University HospitalPisaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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