The Role of Interventional Radiology in the Management of Blunt Renal Injury: A Practical Protocol

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a protocol designed to minimize the need for surgery in the management of severe blunt renal injury.


Forty-six of 752 trauma patients had evidence of renal injury on computed tomographic (CT) scan. Two patients required emergency laparotomy, and the remaining 44 patients were classified by CT scan grade using the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma classification system. Patients with CT scan grade 3 or over underwent renal angiography.


Twenty-one patients had a high-grade injury on CT scan (≥3). Eight had angiographic evidence of extravasation from renal arterial branches and underwent transarterial embolization. One patient with a grade 5 injury had extravasation from a main renal vein and underwent immediate laparotomy. This was the only patient who required surgery for renal injury.


Surgery can be avoided in most cases of blunt renal injury. Hemodynamic instability and injury to main renal veins remain indications for surgical exploration.

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