Abdominal ultrasound as a reliable indicator for conclusive laparotomy in blunt abdominal trauma

J Trauma. 1993 Jan;34(1):27-31. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199301000-00005.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of abdominal ultrasound (US) to detect intra-abdominal injuries that required surgical repair. We therefore retrospectively reviewed 353 patients with nontrivial blunt abdominal trauma. All patients underwent abdominal evaluation as part of our routine trauma protocol within the first minutes of arrival at our emergency center. Hemoperitoneum and intraperitoneal parenchymal damage were correctly identified by US with a sensitivity of 92.8%, and a specificity of 100%. Accuracy was 99.4%, the positive predictive value was 100%, and the negative predictive value was 99.4% (prior probability of disease was 7.65%). We believe that abdominal US should be considered an important tool and an integral part in the work-up of major trauma victims.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Abdominal Injuries / surgery
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Laparotomy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / diagnostic imaging*
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / surgery