The role of repeated extended FAST in patients with stable blunt thoracoabdominal trauma

Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2023 May;29(5):553-559. doi: 10.14744/tjtes.2022.93529.


Background: Thoracic and abdominal computed tomography scans are widely used modalities for trauma patients in emergency department (ED). However, alternative diagnostic and follow-up tools are also needed, due to limitations such as high cost and exces-sive radiation exposure. This study aimed to investigate the utility of repeated extended focused abdominal sonography for trauma (rE-FAST) performed by the emergency physician in patients with stable blunt thoracoabdominal trauma.

Methods: This was a prospective, single-center diagnostic accuracy study. Patients with blunt thoracoabdominal trauma admitted to the ED were included in the study. The E-FAST was performed on the patients included in the study at the 0th h, the 3rd h, and the 6th h during their follow-up. Then, the diagnostic accuracy metrics of E-FAST and rE-FAST were calculated.

Results: The sensitivity and specificity of E-FAST in determining thoracoabdominal pathologies were found to be 75% and 98.7%, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity for specific pathologies were 66.7% and 100% for pneumothorax, 66.7% and 98.8% for hemothorax, and 66.7% and 100% for hemoperitoneum, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of rE-FAST in determining thoracal and/or abdominal hemorrhage in stable patients were found to be 100% and 98.7%, respectively.

Conclusion: E-FAST successfully rules in thoracoabdominal pathologies in patients with blunt trauma, with its high specificity. However, only a rE-FAST might be sensitive enough to exclude traumatic pathologies in these stable patients.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Injuries* / surgery
  • Hemoperitoneum
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography / methods
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating* / diagnostic imaging