Seventy cases of injuries of the small intestine caused by blunt abdominal trauma: A retrospective study from 1970 to 1994

Heinz Neugebauer, Engelbert Wallenboeck, Marc Hungerford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Injuries of the hollow viscera are far less common in blunt abdominal trauma than in penetrating abdominal trauma. This article is a 25- year retrospective study of 70 patients with injuries of the small intesline caused by blunt trauma. All patients were treated surgically at the trauma hospital (Unfallkrankenhaus) in Graz. In our series, blunt abdominal trauma causing hollow viscus injuries occurred in conjunction with multiple trauma in 68.8% of cases. The overall mortality rate was 25.7%. Methods: The following methods were used for evaluating the intestinal injury: detailed history of the accident and examination of the patients (e.g., transverse abdominal bruise) diagnostic peritoneal lavage before 1984, abdominal sonography since 1984, computed tomography, and laboratory tests. Results: Prognosis and results depended partly on the general condition of the patient, as well as the timeliness of diagnosis and surgical management of the small bowel injury. Delays in diagnosis were common because of the overall condition of the patient, as well as the difficulty in establishing a definitive diagnosis by using current radiologic and serologic modalities. Conclusion: It should be stated that the high mortality of small bowel injuries after blunt abdominal trauma justifies an aggressive approach to diagnosis and surgical treatment of these injuries. This article focuses on injury mechanisms and current concepts in diagnosis and the therapy of small intestine lacerations in blunt abdominal trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-121
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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