Ultrasound surface probe as a screening method for evaluating the patients with blunt abdominal trauma

Mohammad Nasr-Esfahani, Mohsen Kolahdouzan, Mehrnoosh Shafiei


Background: Blunt abdominal trauma is one of the causes of mortality in emergency department. Free fluid in the abdomen due to intra-abdominal blunt trauma can be determined by the surface probe of ultrasound. Since the importance of this free fluid in hemodynamic stable patients with blunt trauma is associated with the unknown outcome for surgeons, this study was performed to evaluate the role of ultrasound surface probe as a screening method in evaluating the patients with blunt abdominal trauma. Materials and Methods: A descriptive-analytical study was done on 45 patients with blunt abdominal trauma and hemodynamic stability. The patients were evaluated twice during the three-hours, including repeated ultrasound surface probe and clinical examinations. Computerized tomography was also performed. The patients were divided based on the amount of the free fluid in the abdomen during the evaluations into two groups: Fixed or increased, and decreased free fluid. The results of the different evaluated methods were compared using the sensitivity and specificity. Results: From 17 patients with CT abnormalities, free fluid increased in 14 patients (82.4%). Free fluid was decreased in three patients who were discharged well from the surgery service without any complication. Surface probe in prognosis detection had a sensitivity of 82.4% and specificity of 92.9%. The percentage of false positive and negative ultrasound compared with CT scan was 7.1% and 17.6%. Also, positive and negative predictive value of the ultrasound with surface probe was 87.5% and 89.7% respectively. Conclusion: The use of the ultrasound with surface probe in the diagnosis of free fluid in blunt abdominal trauma in hemodynamic stable patients can be considered as a useful screening method. Key words: Blunt abdominal trauma, CT scan, ultrasound surface probe

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