Journal of Hong Kong College of Radiologists

Volume 4 Number 3, 2001

Focused Abdominal Sonography in Trauma

SS Lingawi
Department of Radiology, University Hospital, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Clinical assessment of the abdomen for possible intra-abdominal injury following blunt abdominal trauma is often unreliable, due to decreased patient consciousness, neurological deficits, medications, or other associated injuries. Diagnostic peritoneal lavage is superior to clinical examination in assessing abdominal injuries, however, it is an invasive procedure and carries the risk of producing organ injury. It also decreases the specificity of subsequent ultrasound and/or computed tomography. Computed tomography is the standard radiological investigation for blunt intra-abdominal trauma, but entails inevitable time delay, requires patient transfer, and is unsuitable for haemodynamically unstable patients.

Focused abdominal sonography in blunt abdominal trauma is an accessible, portable, non-invasive, and reliable diagnostic tool for the assessment of the presence or absence of abdominal fluid. This article discusses the technique of focused abdominal sonography in blunt abdominal trauma, clinical utilisation, and relevant literature. (J HK Coll Radiol 2001;4:222-225)

Key words : Abdominal injury, Trauma, Ultrasound

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