Blunt Adrenal Injury: Results of a State Trauma Registry Review

Am Surg. 2019 Apr 1;85(4):390-396.


In the past, injuries to the adrenal glands due to blunt trauma were considered rare, and were reported to be associated with high Injury Severity Scores (ISSs) and high mortality. Recent reports have reported a much high incidence associated with lower ISS and lower mortality. The purpose of this study was to assess the incidence of adrenal gland injuries due to blunt trauma in a large state trauma registry and determine whether these injuries are associated with a higher ISS and increased risk for mortality. A retrospective review was performed on the New York State Trauma Registry comparing blunt injured adults with adrenal injuries to those who did not. Concurrent organ injuries, ISS, and inhospital mortality were compared. Three hundred thirty-nine patients with adrenal gland injuries were identified. Concurrent liver and kidney injuries were more prevalent in the adrenal injured group, and concurrent injuries to the small and large intestine and spleen were more prevalent in the nonadrenal injured group. There was no difference in ISS or mortality between the adrenal injured and nonadrenal injured populations. The results of this study are consistent with recent smaller studies which identified incidence rates which were higher than previously reported and that ISS and mortality risk were unchanged by the presence of blunt adrenal gland injuries. Adrenal gland injuries due to blunt trauma are not uncommon, with an incidence rate of 0.61 per cent. Adrenal gland injuries are not associated with higher ISS or an increased risk of mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Injuries / diagnosis
  • Abdominal Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Adrenal Glands / injuries*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / diagnosis
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / epidemiology*