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The Association Between Chance Fractures and Intra-abdominal Injuries Revisited: A Multicenter Review

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The association between Chance fractures and intra-abdominal injuries is reported to be as high as 89 per cent. Because prior studies were small series or case reports, we conducted a multicenter review to learn the true association between Chance fractures and intra-abdominal injuries as well as diagnostic trends. Trauma registry data, medical records, and radiology reports from 7 trauma centers were used to characterize 79 trauma patients with Chance fractures. Initial methods of abdominal assessment were computed tomography (CT) scan (79%), clinical examination (16%), and diagnostic peritoneal lavage (DPL) (5%). Twenty-six (33%) patients had intra-abdominal injuries of which hollow viscus injuries predominated (22%). Twenty patients (25%) underwent laparotomy. The presence of an abdominal wall contusion and automobile restraint use were highly predictive of intra-abdominal injury and the need for laparotomy. The association between a Chance fracture and intra-abdominal injury is not as high as previously reported. CT scan has become the primary modality to assess the abdominal cavity of patients with Chance fractures, whereas the role of DPL has diminished.
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Keywords: Research Article

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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