Displaced anterior pelvic fracture on initial pelvic radiography predicts massive hemorrhage

Am J Emerg Med. 2018 Dec;36(12):2172-2176. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2018.03.058. Epub 2018 Mar 21.


Introduction: Massive hemorrhage is often associated with unstable pelvic fractures with posterior ring injury. Initial pelvic radiography alone may not detect these posterior lesions. We examined whether the presence of an anterior pelvic fracture on initial pelvic radiography alone may identify patients who are at a high risk of major hemorrhage.

Materials and methods: A total of 288 patients with pelvic fractures were admitted to the Fukui Prefectural Hospital during an 11-year period. After excluding 33 patients who were in cardiopulmonary arrest on arrival and nine with concomitant abdominal organ injuries requiring emergency laparotomy, 246 eligible patients were retrospectively reviewed. Anterior pelvic fractures were defined as displacement of the obturator ring, obturator ring with laterality, or displacement of the pubic symphysis on pelvic radiography.

Results: Massive hemorrhage was identified in 106 of 246 patients. Patients with massive hemorrhage had a higher frequency of anterior pelvic fractures on pelvic radiography and higher frequency of posterior pelvic fractures on computed tomography than those without massive hemorrhage. Logistic regression analysis identified displacement of the obturator ring by ≥5mm, obturator ring with laterality of ≥5mm, and displacement of the pubic symphysis by ≥4mm on pelvic radiography as predictors of massive pelvic hemorrhage.

Conclusion: The results of the present study suggested that the presence of displaced anterior lesions of the pelvic ring on pelvic radiography alone, without the use of computed tomography during the initial treatment stage, may promptly identify patients at high risk of massive pelvic hemorrhage who require intervention for hemorrhage control.

Keywords: Massive hemorrhage; Pelvic radiography; Pelvic trauma.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / methods
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hemorrhage / complications
  • Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Pelvic Bones / injuries*
  • Pubic Symphysis / diagnostic imaging
  • Pubic Symphysis / injuries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed