UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Ultrasound

Title: Does IV contrast help identify injuries in blunt abdominal trauma patients?

Keywords: Abdomen, ultrasound, trauma, contrast (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/23/2024 by Robert Flint, MD (Updated: 6/13/2024)
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This very small study looked at the utility of using IV contrast media to enhance abdominal sonography in identifying injuries in blunt abdominal trauma patients. The comparison was CT scanning of the abdomen to identify injuries. The study concluded:

“With the addition of contrast and careful inspection of solid organs, abdominal sonography with contrast performed by the emergency physician improves the ability to rule out traumatic findings on abdominal CT. CEUS performed by emergency physicians may miss injuries, especially in the absence of free fluid, in cases of low-grade injuries, simultaneous injuries, or poor-quality examinations.”

To me, this is a limited study and the technique is not ready for wide spread use but further study is warranted.


Contrast-enhanced point of care ultrasound for the evaluation of stable blunt abdominal trauma by the emergency physician: A prospective diagnostic study

Viviane Donner MDJulian Thaler MDWolf E Hautz Prof. Dr.Med, MMEThomas Christian Sauter Prof. Dr.Med, MMEDaniel Ott MDKarsten Klingberg MDAristomenis K Exadaktylos Prof.Dr.MedBeat Lehmann MD

First published: 19 April 2024

Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians OpenVolume 5, Issue 2