Pediatric Abdominal Trauma Imaging

Carlos J. Sivit, MD


Appl Radiol. 2013;42(5):8-13. 

In This Article


Imaging is central to the evaluation of injured children following abdominal trauma, and computed tomography (CT) is the imaging method of choice to evaluate hemodynamically stable children sustaining significant blunt abdominal trauma.

Current generation multidetector CT systems provide high image quality, owing to thinner collimation, reduced partial volume and motion artifacts, and the ability to perform multiplanar reformatted images. CT allows for the accurate detection and quantification of injury to solid and hollow viscera. CT also detects and quantifies intraperitoneal and extraperitoneal fluid and blood. CT can help prioritize optimal management by diagnosing life-threatening injury and active hemorrhage. Additionally, CT demonstrates associated bony injury to the ribs, spine, and pelvis. A normal CT also serves an important function in patient management by excluding potential intra-abdominal or pelvic sources of blood loss.