Chest trauma may be blunt or penetrating and the chest is the third most common trauma region. It is a significant cause of mortality. Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) has been an increasingly used method to evaluate chest trauma because of its high success in detecting tissue and organ injuries. Herein, we aimed to present MDCT findings in patients with blunt and penetrating chest trauma admitted to our department.
A total of 240 patients admitted to the emergency department of our hospital between April 2012 and July 2013 with a diagnosis of chest trauma who underwent MDCT evaluations were included. Most of the patients were male (83.3%) and victims of a blunt chest trauma. The images were analyzed with respect to the presence of fractures of bony structures, hemothorax, pneumothorax, mediastinal organ injury, and pulmonary and vascular injuries.
MDCT images of the 240 patients yielded a prevalence of 41.7% rib fractures, 11.2% scapular fractures, and 7.5% clavicle fractures. The prevalence of thoracic vertebral fracture was 13.8% and that of sternal fracture was 3.8%. The prevalence of hemothorax, pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum, and subcutaneous emphysema was 34.6%, 62.1%, 9.6%, and 35.4%, respectively. The prevalence of rib, clavicle, and thoracic vertebral fractures and pulmonary contusion was higher in the blunt trauma group, whereas the prevalence of hemothorax, subcutaneous emphysema, diaphragmatic injury, and other vascular lacerations was significantly higher in the penetrating trauma group than in the blunt trauma group ( p<0.05).