Ultrasound in the evaluation of penetrating thoraco-abdominal trauma: a review of the literature.

Nicholas J. Governatori, Turandot Saul, Sebastian D. Siadecki, Resa E. Lewiss


The use of ultrasound in the evaluation of blunt thoraco-abdominal trauma is well described. Evidence for the use of ultrasound in the evaluation of penetrating cardio-thoracic and abdominal trauma, however, is more limited and varied. Current literature demonstrates that ultrasound is an excellent screening tool for penetrating thoracic and cardiac injuries with a high sensitivity for detecting injury requiring acute intervention.  For abdominal injuries, however, the sensitivity for detection of injury is low and thus the utility of ultrasound as a screening tool is limited.  This review summarizes the existing literature addressing the clinical utility of ultrasound for penetrating trauma to the pericardium, thorax and abdomen.


ultrasound; echocardiography; hemopericardium; hemothorax; hemoperitoneum

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11152/mu.2013.2066.174.evp


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