Multi-trauma with traumatic aortic injury, diaphragmatic rupture and small bowel injury
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Motor bike accident.
Chest, abdomen and pelvis
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- blunt traumatic thoracic aortic transection and pseudoaneurysm with an associated large volume mediastinal hematoma
- displaced right posterior 12th rib fracture
- left diaphragmatic rupture with stomach herniation into the chest
- left hemothorax and pulmonary contusions
- small right sided pneumothorax and posterior pulmonary contusions
- small bowel mesenteric fat stranding suspicious for a mesenteric tear (high suspicion) +/- terminal ileal injury/perforation
- fat stranding in the retroperitoneum around the left renal vascular pedicle. No evidence of active bleeding or direct vascular injury. Enhancement of the left kidney is normal.
- small subcapsular splenic hematoma (AAST Grade II)
- focal right lower renal pole poorly defined cortical hypodensity, possibly a blunt renal contusion (AAST Grade I)
- low volume IVC consistent with volume depletion
- gas with the left abdominal wall and pelvis
2 case questions available
A mediastinal hematoma is an indirect sign of traumatic aortic injury (TAI). Direct signs of TAI include:
- intimal tear/flap
- irregularity of the aortic wall
- abrupt change in aortic caliber (pseudocoarctation)
- active extravasation of intravenous contrast
The sagittal plane is usually the best plate to evaluate the contour of the aorta.
CT diagnosis of bowel and mesenteric injury can be difficult. Both direct and indirect signs need to be carefully sought for. The main goal in evaluating these signs is to distinguish significant bowel and mesenteric injuries that require surgical intervention from those that can be managed non-surgically.
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- Fang J, Chen R, Lin B, Hsu Y, Kao J, Kao Y, Chen M. Small bowel perforation: is urgent surgery necessary? Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 1999;47(3):515-520.
- Fakhry SM, Watts DD, Luchette FA, EAST Multi-Institutional HVI Research Group. Current diagnostic approaches lack sensitivity in the diagnosis of perforated blunt small bowel injury: analysis from 275,557 trauma admissions from the EAST multi-institutional HVI trial. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 2003;54(2):295-306.
- Sharma OP, Oswanski MF, Singer D, Kenney B. The role of computed tomography in diagnosis of blunt intestinal and mesenteric trauma (BIMT). J Emerg Med 2004;27(1):55-67.
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