Chest X-rays may miss 40% of clinically significant thoracic injuries in multiple trauma patients that can be caught by chest CT, say researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
For the study, the researchers analyzed the findings of 563 multiple trauma patients who had both chest CT and plain film X-rays performed. They found that the X-rays missed 40% of clinically significant thoracic injuries, including lung contusions, lung lacerations, rib and spine fractures and air or blood trapped in the space between the lung and chest wall.
“The average multiple trauma patient, say from a fall or motor vehicle accident, will get a head CT, cervical spine CT, chest CT, abdomen CT and pelvic CT, basically from head to thighs,” said Robert A. Novelline, MD, senior author of the study. “Today this takes about three to five minutes-10 years ago it would take two hours, but the newest generation of CT scanners, called multidetector CT (or MDCT) has revolutionized the imaging of multiple trauma patients,” he added.
Jason Ocker | EurekAlert!
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