Seatbelt sign (abdomen)

Dr Henry Knipe et al.

The seatbelt sign is both a clinical and radiological sign. It is simply the presence of bruising/abrasions in the distribution of a seatbelt (i.e. horizontal and/or diagonal) across the abdomen, chest and sometimes neck. 

A positive seatbelt sign, in combination with abdominal pain or tenderness, results in a higher likelihood of intra-abdominal injuries, in particular bowel/mesenteric injury 1,3.

See also

Article information

rID: 35360
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Seat belt sign
  • Lap belt sign
  • Seat belt injury
  • Lap belt injury

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 3
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 4
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 5
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 6: with small bowel and mesenteric injury
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.