Geyer, Lucas L.; Körner, Markus; Linsenmaier, Ulrich; Huber-Wagner, Stefan; Kanz, Karl-Georg; Reiser, Maximilian F.; Wirth, Stefan
Incidence of delayed and missed diagnoses in whole-body multidetector CT in patients with multiple injuries after trauma.
In: Acta Radiologica, Vol. 54, No. 5: pp. 592-598
Background: Whole-body CT (WBCT) is the imaging modality of choice during the initial diagnostic work-up of multiple injured patients in order to identify serious injuries and initiate adequate treatment immediately. However, delayed diagnosed or even missed injuries have been reported frequently ranging from 1.3% to 47%. Purpose: To highlight commonly missed lesions in WBCT of patients with multiple injuries. Material and Methods: A total of 375 patients (age 42.8 +/- 17.9 years, ISS 26.6 +/- 17.0) with a WBCT (head to symphysis) were included. The final CT report was compared with clinical and operation reports. Discrepant findings were recorded and grouped as relevant and non-relevant to further treatment. In both groups, an experienced trauma radiologist read the CT images retrospectively, whether these lesions were missed or truly not detectable. Results: In 336 patients (89.6%), all injuries in the regions examined were diagnosed correctly in the final reports of the initial CT. Forty-eight patients (12.8%) had injuries in regions of the body that were not included in the CT. Fourteen patients (3.7%) had injuries that did not require further treatment. Twenty-five patients (6.7%) had injuries that required further treatment. With secondary interpretation, 85.4% of all missed lesions could be diagnosed in retrospect from the primary CT data-set. Small pancreatic and bowel contusions were identified as truly non-detectable. Conclusion: In multiple traumas, only a few missed injuries in initial WBCT reading are clinically relevant. However, as the vast majority of these injuries are detectable, the radiologist has to be alert for commonly missed findings to avoid a delayed diagnosis.