The CT Risk Factors for the Need of Operative Treatment in Initially Hemodynamically Stable Patients After Blunt Hepatic Trauma

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Background:Most hemodynamically stable blunt hepatic trauma (BHT) patients are treated nonoperatively with a reported successful rate exceeding 80%. It is current clinical consensus that hemodynamic stability is the only determinant for a patient to be managed nonoperatively. However, conversion to operative treatment was found in around 10% of these patients.Methods:There were 214 computed tomography (CT) scans of hemodynamically stable patients with main or sole BHT studied. CT findings including injury severity grading, contrast extravasation, the amount of hemoperitoneum, the degree of maceration, the depth of laceration, the size of hematoma, and the involvement of great vessels were analyzed to determine risk factors leading to the need of operative treatment.Results:Intraperitoneal contrast extravasation, hemoperitoneum in six compartments, maceration >2 segments, high Mirvis’ CT grade as well as American Association for the Surgery of Trauma injury scale, laceration ≥6 cm in depth, and porta hepatis involvement occurred significantly more frequently (p ≤ 0.001, respectively) in patients who needed operative treatment. Logistic regression analysis identified “intraperitoneal contrast extravasation” (RR = 12.5, 95% CI: 7.8–20.0; p < 0.001) and “hemoperitoneum in six compartments” (RR = 22, 95% CI: 9.7–49.4; p < 0.001) to independently contribute to the need of operative treatment.Conclusion:Intraperitoneal contrast extravasation and hemoperitoneum in six compartments on CT scan both indicate massive or active hemorrhage and should be regarded as high risk for the need of operation in hemodynamically stable patients after BHT. Patients with low risk profile can be successfully treated with nonoperative modalities.

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