Ultrasonography has been proposed as a screening method for blunt abdominal trauma, but its specific role in comparison with other diagnostic modalities has yet to be defined. The aim of the present retrospective study was to compare the results of ultrasonography and CT of the abdomen in blunt trauma in a district general hospital. The hospital records of 25 patients who were admitted with blunt abdominal trauma to Southland Hospital, Invercargill, New Zealand, between January 1991 and November 1996 and who had both ultrasound and CT of the abdomen within 48 h of admission were reviewed. Ultrasound missed seven lesions in seven patients (7/25, 28%) compared with CT. Three of these were intestinal lesions that needed laparotomy. Ultrasound had a usefulness index of 1, 0.76, 0.72, 0.69 and 0, respectively, for detecting lesions of the kidneys, free intraperitoneal fluid, the liver, the spleen, and intestines. Although ultrasound can be used as an initial screening method for blunt abdominal trauma, CT is still the imaging modality of choice for detecting intra-abdominal lesions for stable patients in a district general hospital.
- Blunt abdominal trauma
- Computed tomography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging