Emergency Radiology

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 557–566 | Cite as

Blunt chest trauma: classification and management

  • Alessandro MarroEmail author
  • Vivien Chan
  • Barbara Haas
  • Noah Ditkofsky
Review Article


Blunt chest wall injuries are a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in trauma patients. Accurate identification and description of chest wall injuries by the radiologist can aid in guiding proper patient management. The American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) has devised a classification system based on severity. This article describes the features of each injury grade according to the AAST injury scale and discusses the implications for management. Additionally, common mechanisms of blunt chest trauma and multimodal imaging techniques are discussed.


Chest wall Trauma Fracture Flail chest AAST 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Society of Emergency Radiology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical ImagingUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Sunnybrook Health Sciences CentreTorontoCanada

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