Patterns of fluid accumulation in splenic trauma: demonstration by CT.
Detection of hemoperitoneum in splenic trauma is as important as detection of the visceral injury itself. Observation of a consistent spectrum of fluid accumulation in patients with splenic trauma prompted us to investigate the patterns in more detail. Twenty-three computed tomographic (CT) scans in 20 patients were evaluated with respect to presence of fluid collections in various peritoneal and retroperitoneal compartments. These were correlated with severity of injury and operative and pathologic findings. Hemoperitoneum was detected in the pelvis (65%), paracolic gutters (52%), left subphrenic space (48%), perihepatic space (48%), Morison's pouch (17%) and in the lesser sac (9%). In addition to free fluid, pleural fluid (39%) and retroperitoneal hematoma in the left anterior pararenal space (13%) were also encountered. These ancillary findings may help to substantiate the diagnosis of splenic trauma in equivocal cases, particularly when the spleen itself is obscured by artifacts. Early detection may reduce mortality and morbidity associated with splenic trauma.
Balachandran, S; Leonard, MH; Kumar, D; Goodman, P
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