Hollow organ perforation in blunt abdominal trauma: The role of diagnostic peritoneal lavage

Yu Chun Wang*, Chi Hsun Hsieh, Chih Yuan Fu, Chun Chieh Yeh, Shih Chi Wu, Ray Jade Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: With recent advances in radiologic diagnostic procedures, the use of diagnostic peritoneal lavage (DPL) has markedly declined. In this study, we reviewed data to reevaluate the role of DPL in the diagnosis of hollow organ perforation in patients with blunt abdominal trauma. Methods: Adult patients who had sustained blunt abdominal trauma and who were hemodynamically stable after initial resuscitation underwent an abdominal computed tomographic (CT) scan. Diagnostic peritoneal lavage was performed for patients who were indicated to receive nonoperative management and where hollow organ perforation could not be ruled out. Results: During a 60-month period, 64 patients who had received abdominal CT scanning underwent DPL. Nineteen patients were diagnosed as having a positive DPL based on cell count ratio of 1 or higher. There were 4 patients who sustained small bowel perforation. The sensitivity and specificity of the cell count ratio for a hollow organ perforation in this study were 100% and 75%, respectively. No missed hollow organ perforations were detected. Conclusion: For patients with blunt abdominal trauma and hemoperitoneum who plan to receive nonoperative management, DPL is still a useful tool to exclude hollow organ perforation that is undetected by CT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-573
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 05 2012
Externally publishedYes


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