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Use of Chest Computed Tomography in Stable Patients with Blunt Thoracic Trauma: Clinical and Forensic Perspective

DOI: 10.4328

Keywords: Trauma , Injury , Computed Tomography

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Abstract:

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the medical and forensic importance of thorax computed tomography in stable patients with blunt chest trauma. Material and Methods: Fifty patients with blunt chest injury were retrospectively evaluated with chest radiography and thorax computed tomography in the first 24 hours after trauma. Patient demographics, thoracic lesions, management options, and forensic assessment were rewieved. Results: The most common lesion of the study was rib fracture. Thorax computed tomography was significantly superior to chest radiography in detecting thoracic lesions. Sixty eight (33%) occult lesions were detected. Forty six (18%) of these were life threatening that not detected with plain chest radiography. Associated injuries were present in 33 (66%) patients. Pelvic and extremity fractures were the most common injury. Thorax computed tomography was significantly superior to chest radiography in detecting pneumothorax , hemothorax and lung contusion. Eightyone life threatening lesions were detected and 50 (61%; pneumothorax 13, hemothorax 24, lung contusion 9,and pneumomediastinum 4) of these lesions could not be detected with plain chest radiography. The clinical management [in 15 patients (30%)], and the forensic assesment was changed [in 14 (28%)] patients were changed. Conclusion:We concluded that using Computed Tomography of the thorax in thoracic travmas prive meticulous assesment in management of patients and forens icissues.

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