Triple-Contrast Helical CT Imaging of Penetrating Trauma to the Torso

K. Shanmuganathan, MD, Stuart E. Mirvis, MD, FACR

Disclosures

Appl Radiol. 2003;32(2) 

In This Article

Introduction

Firearm-related injuries have become a public health problem with a devastating impact on American society.[1] There are substantial emotional, physical, and financial costs associated with firearm injuries, which are common in our society and often lethal. For every firearm death, it is estimated that 3 to 5 other nonfatal firearm injuries occur.[2] During the last decade, computed tomography (CT) has been used to evaluate patients with penetrating injuries to the back and flank, but it has not been used routinely to evaluate penetrating injuries to the thoraco-abdominal region, abdomen proper, or pelvis. This article discusses the authors' experience with helical CT (single- and quad-detector helical CT) combined with oral, intravenous, and colonic contrast (triple-contrast) to assess hemodynamically stable patients who have penetrating injuries to the torso.

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