Correlation Between Intra-Abdominal Free Fluid and Solid Organ Injury in Blunt Abdominal Trauma


1 Department of Radiology, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran

2 Trauma Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran

3 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran



In previous studies, the diagnostic value of Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (FAST) has been evaluated but few studies have been performed on the relationship between the amount of free intra-abdominal fluid and organ injury in blunt abdominal trauma. To select patients with a higher probability of intra-abdominal injuries, several scoring systems have been proposed based on the results of FAST.

The aim of this study was to determine the prognostic value of FAST according to the Huang scoring system and to propose a cut-off point for predicting the presence of intra-abdominal injuries on the Computed Tomography (CT) scan. The correlation between age and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and the presence of intra-abdominal injuries on the CT scan was also assessed.

Patients and Methods
This study was performed on 200 patients with severe blunt abdominal trauma who had stable vital signs. For all patients, FAST-ultrasound was performed by a radiologist and the free fluid score in the abdomen was calculated according to the Huang score. Immediately, an intravenous contrast-enhanced abdominal CT scan was performed in all patients and abdominal solid organ injuries were assessed. Results were analyzed using Kruskal-Wallis test, Mann-Whitney test and ROC curves. The correlation between age and GCS and the presence of intra-abdominal injuries on CT-scan was also evaluated.

The mean age of the patients was 29.6 ± 18.3 years and FAST was positive in 67% of the subjects. A significant correlation was seen between the FAST score and the presence of organ injury on CT scan (P < 0.001). Considering the cut-off point of 3 for the free fluid score (with a range of 0-8), sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were calculated to be 0.83, 0.98, 0.93, and 0.95, respectively. Age and GCS showed no significant correlation with intra-abdominal injuries.

It seems that FAST examination for intra-abdominal fluid in blunt trauma patients can predict intra-abdominal injuries with very high sensitivity and specificity. Using the scoring system can more accurately determine the probability of the presence of abdominal injuries with a cut-off point of three.