Incidental findings on trauma ultrasonography

L. W. Pinheiro, K. L. McKenney, L. Rivas, D. B. Nunez, M. Yu, J. P. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the prevalence of incidental findings detected on the focused abdominal sonogram for trauma. Methods: From November 1996 to February 1998, 1914 radiologist-assisted trauma ultrasound examinations were performed. Incidental findings were tabulated by retrospective review of the trauma radiology daily logbooks. Results: Incidental nontraumatic findings were detected in 160 (8.36 %) of the acutely injured patients. Most findings were benign, including echogenic liver, renal cysts, and cholelithiasis. However, significant pathology was detected in several patients, including renal masses, hepatic metastases, and gynecologic disease. Conclusion: The radiologist-assisted trauma ultrasound examination can provide valuable diagnostic information beyond the detection of free fluid. This may have important implications, as nonradiologists are increasingly involved in the practice of trauma ultrasonography. Even in the setting of trauma, significant occult pathology can be detected on a targeted ultrasound examination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalEmergency Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Emergency
  • Trauma, blunt abdominal
  • Ultrasonography
  • Ultrasonography, abdominal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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