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CT of penetrating
abdominopelvic trauma
Introduction
• Penetrating abdominopelvic trauma usually results from abdominal cavity violation from a
firearm injury or a stab wound and is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality from
traumatic injuries.
• Penetrating trauma can have subtle or complex imaging findings, posing a diagnostic
challenge for radiologists.
Introduction
• Before the advent of antibiotics and aseptic techniques, penetrating abdominal injuries
were managed expectantly with poor outcomes.
• Hemodynamic instability along with evisceration and peritonitis are indications for urgent
surgical exploration.
Basics of Ballistics
• Ballistics is the science of projectiles, and a comprehensive understanding of penetrating
trauma relies on a basic understanding of ballistics.
• Classification:
• Internal ballistics
• External ballistics
• Terminal ballistics
Preimaging and CT protocol consideration
• On arrival at the hospital, patients with penetrating abdominopelvic trauma are primarily
surveyed by using the ABCDE algorithm (airway, breathing, circulation, disability, and
exposure).
• This includes a rapid evaluation of vital signs, level of consciousness (Glasgow Coma
Scale), and wound location and documentation of all entry and exit wounds.
Preimaging and CT protocol consideration
• After the primary survey, the secondary survey is performed according to the Advanced
Trauma Life Support (ATLS) protocol.
• In the trauma bay, a focused assessment with sonography in trauma (FAST) examination
is often performed to assess for free fluid and blood to direct patients to surgery when
their condition is too unstable for CT evaluation.
Preimaging and CT protocol consideration
• CT trajectography is a useful tool in CT interpretation that allows the identification of
subtle injuries from the transfer of kinetic injury from the projectile to surrounding tissue.
Trauma CT Protocol
• Contrast-enhanced CT of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis is performed with the patient’s
arms positioned above the head, if possible.
• The author perform our standard trauma CT by administering 100 mL of nonionic
iodinated contrast material at a rate of 3–4 mL/sec with a fixed 70-second delay.
• The axial images are reconstructed with 3-mm–thick sections and 2-mm overlap, with the
option to reconstruct thinner sections as needed.
Use of Enteric Contrast Material
• Triple-contrast CT (combined intravenous, oral, and rectal contrast material) reportedly
carries the advantage of high specificity for helping diagnose bowel perforation as
identified with enteric contrast material leak.
• Early research and practice centered on triple-contrast CT describe sensitivity and
specificity of 97% and 98%, respectively, and it is considered 98% accurate for evaluation
of peritoneal violation.
Imaging Signs of Peritoneal Violation
• Free fluid can be either simple, with attenuation values ranging between –10 and 10 HU,
or it can be hyperattenuating blood with attenuation values ranging between 30 and 70
HU (clotted blood ranging between 45 and 70 HU and unclotted blood ranging between
30 and 45 HU).
Imaging Signs of Peritoneal Violation
• The simple fluid has characteristic locations in certain circumstances, usually seen in
small volumes layering in the dependent portions such as the cul-de-sac, paracolic
gutters, or Morison pouch.
• Hemoperitoneum is a more specific finding for ballistic injury in the peritoneal cavity 
this may manifest with a sentinel clot sign or hematocrit effect.
Conclusion
• Timely identification of injuries secondary to penetrating abdominopelvic trauma can
prevent poor patient outcomes.
• Familiarity with projectile kinetics aids in understanding injury mechanisms and following
the tracks of penetrating objects can reveal the site of energy deposition and subsequent
injury.
• Knowledge of the imaging features of the injuries acquired in penetrating trauma,
including direct and indirect signs, aids in correct injury characterization, which is vital to
clinical decision making.
Thank you

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CT scan of penetrating abdominopelvic trauma

  • 2.
  • 3. Introduction • Penetrating abdominopelvic trauma usually results from abdominal cavity violation from a firearm injury or a stab wound and is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality from traumatic injuries. • Penetrating trauma can have subtle or complex imaging findings, posing a diagnostic challenge for radiologists.
  • 4. Introduction • Before the advent of antibiotics and aseptic techniques, penetrating abdominal injuries were managed expectantly with poor outcomes. • Hemodynamic instability along with evisceration and peritonitis are indications for urgent surgical exploration.
  • 5. Basics of Ballistics • Ballistics is the science of projectiles, and a comprehensive understanding of penetrating trauma relies on a basic understanding of ballistics. • Classification: • Internal ballistics • External ballistics • Terminal ballistics
  • 6.
  • 7. Preimaging and CT protocol consideration • On arrival at the hospital, patients with penetrating abdominopelvic trauma are primarily surveyed by using the ABCDE algorithm (airway, breathing, circulation, disability, and exposure). • This includes a rapid evaluation of vital signs, level of consciousness (Glasgow Coma Scale), and wound location and documentation of all entry and exit wounds.
  • 8. Preimaging and CT protocol consideration • After the primary survey, the secondary survey is performed according to the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) protocol. • In the trauma bay, a focused assessment with sonography in trauma (FAST) examination is often performed to assess for free fluid and blood to direct patients to surgery when their condition is too unstable for CT evaluation.
  • 9. Preimaging and CT protocol consideration • CT trajectography is a useful tool in CT interpretation that allows the identification of subtle injuries from the transfer of kinetic injury from the projectile to surrounding tissue.
  • 10. Trauma CT Protocol • Contrast-enhanced CT of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis is performed with the patient’s arms positioned above the head, if possible. • The author perform our standard trauma CT by administering 100 mL of nonionic iodinated contrast material at a rate of 3–4 mL/sec with a fixed 70-second delay. • The axial images are reconstructed with 3-mm–thick sections and 2-mm overlap, with the option to reconstruct thinner sections as needed.
  • 11. Use of Enteric Contrast Material • Triple-contrast CT (combined intravenous, oral, and rectal contrast material) reportedly carries the advantage of high specificity for helping diagnose bowel perforation as identified with enteric contrast material leak. • Early research and practice centered on triple-contrast CT describe sensitivity and specificity of 97% and 98%, respectively, and it is considered 98% accurate for evaluation of peritoneal violation.
  • 12.
  • 13.
  • 14. Imaging Signs of Peritoneal Violation • Free fluid can be either simple, with attenuation values ranging between –10 and 10 HU, or it can be hyperattenuating blood with attenuation values ranging between 30 and 70 HU (clotted blood ranging between 45 and 70 HU and unclotted blood ranging between 30 and 45 HU).
  • 15. Imaging Signs of Peritoneal Violation • The simple fluid has characteristic locations in certain circumstances, usually seen in small volumes layering in the dependent portions such as the cul-de-sac, paracolic gutters, or Morison pouch. • Hemoperitoneum is a more specific finding for ballistic injury in the peritoneal cavity  this may manifest with a sentinel clot sign or hematocrit effect.
  • 16.
  • 17.
  • 18.
  • 19.
  • 20.
  • 21.
  • 22.
  • 23.
  • 24. Conclusion • Timely identification of injuries secondary to penetrating abdominopelvic trauma can prevent poor patient outcomes. • Familiarity with projectile kinetics aids in understanding injury mechanisms and following the tracks of penetrating objects can reveal the site of energy deposition and subsequent injury. • Knowledge of the imaging features of the injuries acquired in penetrating trauma, including direct and indirect signs, aids in correct injury characterization, which is vital to clinical decision making.