Imaging Manifestations of Chest Trauma.
Trauma is the leading cause of death among individuals under 40 years of age, and pulmonary trauma is common in high-impact injuries. Unlike most other organs, the lung is elastic and distensible, with a physiologic capacity to withstand significant changes in contour and volume. The most common types of lung parenchymal injury are contusions, lacerations, and hematomas, each having characteristic imaging appearances. A less common type of lung injury is herniation. Chest radiography is often the first-line imaging modality performed in the assessment of the acutely injured patient, although there are inherent limitations in the use of this modality in trauma. CT images are more accurate for the assessment of the nature and extent of pulmonary injury than the single-view anteroposterior chest radiograph that is typically obtained in the trauma bay. However, the primary limitations of CT concern the need to transport the patient to the CT scanner and a longer processing time. The American Association for the Surgery of Trauma has established the most widely used grading scale to describe lung injury, which serves to communicate severity, guide management, and provide useful prognostic factors in a systematic fashion. The authors provide an in-depth exploration of the most common types of pulmonary parenchymal, pleural, and airway injuries. Injury grading, patient management, and potential complications of pulmonary injury are also discussed. ©RSNA, 2021.
Lewis, BT; Herr, KD; Hamlin, SA; Henry, T; Little, BP; Naeger, DM; Hanna, TN
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