Since the 1980s, CT has emerged as the imaging modality of choice to evaluate the hemodynamically stable patient with blunt trauma [1–3]. Many patients admitted to a trauma center have multisystem injuries sustained from high velocity trauma, most commonly a motor vehicle collision. As many as 68% of blunt trauma patients have neurologic impairment owing to injury, drugs, or alcohol, or have a distracting injury, factors that limit the reliability of clinical examination . The speed and accuracy of CT in detecting multisystem injury has proven to be invaluable in the prompt diagnosis and triage of trauma patients. With the advent of multidetector CT (MDCT), scanning times have progressively decreased while image resolution has increased owing to thinner collimation and reduced partial volume and motion artifacts. This high quality image data can be processed further into multiplanar reformatted (MPR) or maximum intensity projection (MIP) images and three-dimensional volumetric (3-D) images, which often aid in the diagnosis of complex injuries in the trauma patient.
Lisa A. Miller ; K. Shanmuganathan, MD