Imaging algorithms and CT protocols in trauma patients: survey of Swiss emergency centers.
OBJECTIVES: To identify imaging algorithms and indications, CT protocols, and radiation doses in polytrauma patients in Swiss trauma centres. METHODS: An online survey with multiple choice questions and free-text responses was sent to authorized level-I trauma centres in Switzerland. RESULTS: All centres responded and indicated that they have internal standardized imaging algorithms for polytrauma patients. Nine of 12 centres (75 %) perform whole-body CT (WBCT) after focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) and conventional radiography; 3/12 (25 %) use WBCT for initial imaging. Indications for WBCT were similar across centres being based on trauma mechanisms, vital signs, and presence of multiple injuries. Seven of 12 centres (58 %) perform an arterial and venous phase of the abdomen in split-bolus technique. Six of 12 centres (50 %) use multiphase protocols of the head (n = 3) and abdomen (n = 4), whereas 6/12 (50 %) use single-phase protocols for WBCT. Arm position was on the patient`s body during scanning (3/12, 25 %), alongside the body (2/12, 17 %), above the head (2/12, 17 %), or was changed during scanning (5/12, 42 %). Radiation doses showed large variations across centres ranging from 1268-3988 mGy*cm (DLP) per WBCT. CONCLUSIONS: Imaging algorithms in polytrauma patients are standardized within, but vary across Swiss trauma centres, similar to the individual WBCT protocols, resulting in large variations in associated radiation doses. KEY POINTS: • Swiss trauma centres have internal standardized imaging algorithms for trauma patients • Whole-body CT is most commonly used for imaging of trauma patients • CT protocols and radiation doses vary greatly across Swiss trauma centres.
Hinzpeter, R; Boehm, T; Boll, D; Constantin, C; Del Grande, F; Fretz, V; Leschka, S; Ohletz, T; Brönnimann, M; Schmidt, S; Treumann, T; Poletti, P-A; Alkadhi, H
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