Technology-driven triage of abdominal trauma: the emerging era of nonoperative management

Annu Rev Med. 2003;54:1-15. doi: 10.1146/ Epub 2001 Dec 3.


Selective nonoperative management of blunt or penetrating abdominal trauma is safe, has eliminated the complications associated with nontherapeutic laparotomies, and is cost-effective. Appropriately selected investigations, such as focused abdominal sonography for trauma, diagnostic peritoneal lavage, spiral computed tomography (CT) scan, diagnostic laparoscopy, or thoracoscopy and angiography, play a critical role in the triage of patients. Future technological advances, such as improvement of the ultrasonic hardware and software that provide automated interpretation and the availability of portable CT scan machines in the emergency room, may improve the speed and accuracy of the initial evaluation. Improvement of the optical system of minilaparoscopes may allow reliable bedside laparoscopy for suspected diaphragmatic injuries.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Injuries / classification
  • Abdominal Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Abdominal Injuries / economics
  • Abdominal Injuries / therapy
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Diagnostic Imaging* / economics
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy* / economics
  • Peritoneal Lavage* / economics
  • Prognosis
  • Triage* / economics
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / classification
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / diagnosis*
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / economics
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / therapy
  • Wounds, Penetrating / classification
  • Wounds, Penetrating / diagnosis*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / economics
  • Wounds, Penetrating / therapy