Multi-trauma with traumatic aortic injury, diaphragmatic rupture and small bowel injury
Motor bike accident.
Chest, abdomen and pelvis
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- blunt traumatic thoracic aortic transection and pseudoaneurysm with an associated large volume mediastinal haematoma
- displaced right posterior 12th rib fracture
- left diaphragmatic rupture with stomach herniation into the chest
- left haemothorax and pulmonary contusions
- small right sided pneumothorax and posterior pulmonary contusions
- small bowel mesenteric fat stranding suspicious for a mesenteric tear (high suspicion) +/- terminal ileal injury/perforation
- fat stranding in the retroperitoneum around the left renal vascular pedicle. No evidence of active bleeding or direct vascular injury. Enhancement of the left kidney is normal.
- small subcapsular splenic haematoma (AAST Grade II)
- focal right lower renal pole poorly defined cortical hypodensity, possibly a blunt renal contusion (AAST Grade I)
- low volume IVC consistent with volume depletion
- gas with the left abdominal wall and pelvis
2 case questions available
A mediastinal haematoma is an indirect sign of traumatic aortic injury (TAI). Direct signs of TAI include:
- intimal tear/flap
- irregularity of the aortic wall
- abrupt change in aortic calibre (pseudocoarctation)
- active extravasation of intravenous contrast
The sagittal plane is usually the best plate to evaluate the contour of the aorta.
CT diagnosis of bowel and mesenteric injury can be difficult. Both direct and indirect signs need to be carefully sought for. The main goal in evaluating these signs is to distinguish significant bowel and mesenteric injuries that require surgical intervention from those that can be managed non-surgically.
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