Pneumomediastinum in blunt trauma: If aerodigestive injury is not seen on CT, invasive workup is not indicated
BACKGROUND: Pneumomediastinum following blunt trauma is often observed on CT imaging, and concern for associated aerodigestive injury often prompts endoscopy and/or fluoroscopy. In recent years, adoption of multi-detector CT technology has resulted in high resolution images that may clearly identify aerodigestive injuries. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the utility of multi-detector CT in the identification of blunt aerodigestive injuries. METHODS: Over five years, patients with pneumomediastinum following blunt trauma were identified from the registry of a level 1 trauma center. All CT imaging of trauma patients during this time period was accomplished with 64-slice scanners. RESULTS: 127 patients with blunt traumatic pneumomediastinum were identified. Five airway injuries were identified, and all injuries were evident on CT imaging. No patient was found to have airway injury by endoscopy that was not evident on CT. No patient had an esophageal injury. CONCLUSION: Multi-detector CT imaging identifies aerodigestive injuries associated with pneumomediastinum following blunt trauma. The absence of a recognizable aerodigestive injury by CT effectively rules out the presence of such injury.
Medical Subject Headings
Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Digestive System (diagnostic imaging, injuries); Female; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; Male; Mediastinal Emphysema (diagnosis, etiology); Middle Aged; Multidetector Computed Tomography; Registries; Respiratory System (diagnostic imaging, injuries); Retrospective Studies; Risk Factors; Sensitivity and Specificity; Wounds, Nonpenetrating (complications, diagnostic imaging); Young Adult
American journal of surgery
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Matthees, Nicholas G.; Mankin, James A.; Trahan, Amy M.; Israr, Sharjeel; Jones, Michael D.; Dameworth, Jonathan L.; Petersen, Scott R.; and Weinberg, Jordan A., "Pneumomediastinum in blunt trauma: If aerodigestive injury is not seen on CT, invasive workup is not indicated" (2019). Neuroradiology. 2.