Shotgun pellets

Case contributed by Dr Himanshu Mishra

Presentation

The patient, who worked as a police constable, was involved in an armed altercation.

Patient Data

Age: 45 years
Gender: Male
X-ray

Plain radiograph demonstrates numerous round opacities of approximate size 2 mm over the left hemithorax and shoulder.

Similar opacities are also noted in the upper aspect of right hemithorax and left upper abdomen.

Case Discussion

Shotgun injuries result from the metal pellets (also known as 'shots') contained in their shells. The pellets spread out and disperse after leaving the barrel and their energy decreases. Thus, farther the target, more is the chance that the pellets will fail to penetrate the soft tissues of the body.

The primary radiological differential diagnosis in such a case is foreign body artifact (especially those present on the patient's dress).

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