24 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. Many centers advocate use of triple-contrast (IV, oral, and rectal) CT for assessing hemodynamically stable patients with penetrating abdominopelvic trauma. Enteric contrast material has several disadvantages, leading our practice to pursue use of single-contrast (IV) CT. We conducted a retrospective review of electronic medical records at our institution to assess the accuracy of single-contrast CT for diagnosing bowel injuries in cases of penetrating abdominopelvic trauma. MATERIALS AND METHODS. We retrospectively reviewed patients who presented to our emergency department between January 1, 2004, and March 1, 2014, with penetrating abdominopelvic trauma, underwent an abdominopelvic CT, and had surgery performed thereafter. We reviewed pertinent emergency department records for details regarding the site of injury, the number of injuries per patient, and the type of weapon used. We correlated CT reports with operative notes for presence and sites of bowel injury. RESULTS. A total of 274 patients (median age, 27 years old) met our inclusion criteria; 77% had sustained gunshot wounds (GSWs). CT showed bowel injury in 173 cases; surgery revealed bowel injury in 162 cases. CT had 142 true-positive, 31 false-positive, 81 true-negative, and 20 false-negative cases, resulting in sensitivity of 88%, specifcity of 72%, positive predictive value of 82%, and negative predictive value of 80% for detecting bowel injuries. CT had the highest sensitivity and specifcity in patients with multiple GSWs (94% and 79%, respectively) and those with injuries to the stomach and rectum. CONCLUSION. Single-contrast CT can show bowel injuries in patients with penetrating abdominopelvic trauma with accuracy comparable with that reported for triple-contrast CT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-765
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Bowel injury
  • Penetrating trauma
  • Single-contrast CT
  • Triple-contrast CT


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