Penetrating Abdominal Trauma
Patients sustaining penetrating abdominal trauma may have a variable hemodynamic presentation. While the primary evaluation focuses on the identification of immediately life-threatening injuries, the secondary survey becomes critical in triaging patients who are hemodynamically stable. In addition to the physical examination, various adjunctive tests have been used with variable success during the secondary survey. Therefore, computed tomography (CT) has emerged as the procedure of choice for further assessment. The sensitivity, speed and universality of CT allow it to play a central role in the initial evaluation and triage of patients presenting with penetrating abdominal trauma. The use of multi-detector CT enables creation of multiplanar reformatted images that facilitate detection of occult injuries that may be overlooked during physical examination, surgery or imaging with other modalities.