Imaging features of blast injuries: experience from 2015 Ankara bombing in Turkey

Br J Radiol. 2016 Jun;89(1062):20160063. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20160063. Epub 2016 Mar 9.


Objective: To present the radiological features of blast-related injuries in the victims of the 10 October 2015 Ankara bombing and emphasize the importance of imaging.

Methods: This retrospective descriptive study included a total of 28 patients who underwent CT scan or radiographic imaging within 6 h after the bombing on 10 October 2015. CT scans and plain radiographs were evaluated regarding mechanisms of injuries. Injuries were categorized as primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary. The number of shrapnel and distribution of injuries were noted. Injury Severity Score (ISS) was used to rank the severity of the injury.

Results: Primary blast injuries consisted of only tympanic membrane rupture. A high rate of patients (21/28 patients) in the study group suffered from secondary blast injuries. Tertiary injuries were detected in only three patients. Of the severely injured patients, five had abdominal injuries, three had thoracic injuries and six had extremity injuries. ISS was significantly higher in patients with thoracic and abdominal injuries.

Conclusion: Our results after the suicide bomb attacks showed that the most common injury pattern was secondary blast injury. The torso was the most commonly injured body region, followed by the extremities. This specific injury pattern requires the use of immense radiological imaging. Hence, radiologists should be aware of the mechanisms and spectrums of blast-related injuries.

Advances in knowledge: Both the unique injury pattern and the following chaos make blast-related injuries a challenge in terms of triage, diagnosis and management. Radiologists should be familiar with the wide spectrum of these unique injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blast Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Extremities / diagnostic imaging
  • Extremities / injuries
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Casualty Incidents
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Trauma / diagnostic imaging
  • Terrorism*
  • Thoracic Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Turkey
  • Tympanic Membrane Perforation / diagnostic imaging*
  • Young Adult