Central Surgical Association| Volume 128, ISSUE 4, P678-685, October 2000

Dynamic helical computed tomography scan accurately detects hemorrhage in patients with pelvic fracture


      Background. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of dynamic helical computed tomography (CT) scan for screening patients with pelvic fractures and hemorrhage requiring angiographic embolization for control of bleeding. Methods. Patients admitted to the trauma service with pelvic fractures were identified from the trauma registry. Data retrieval included demographics, hemodynamic instability, Injury Severity Score, blood transfusion requirement, length of stay, and mortality. CT scans obtained during the initial evaluation were reviewed for the presence of contrast extravasation and correlated with angiographic findings. Data are reported as mean ± SEM, with P <.05 considered significant. Results. Seven thousand seven hundred eighty-one patients were admitted from June 1994 to May 1999. A pelvic fracture was diagnosed in 660 (8.5%). Two hundred ninety (44.0%) dynamic helical CT scans were performed, of which 13 (4.5%) identified contrast extravasation. Nine (69%) were hemodynamically unstable and had pelvic arteriography performed. Arterial bleeding was confirmed in all and controlled by embolization. Patients with contrast extravasation had significantly greater Injury Severity Score, blood transfusion requirement and length of stay. Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of CT scan for identifying patients requiring embolization were 90.0%, 98.6%, and 98.3%, respectively. Conclusion. Early use of dynamic helical CT scanning in the multiply injured patient with a pelvic fracture accurately identifies the need for emergent angiographic embolization. (Surgery 2000;128:67885.)
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