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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 96-100

The value of ultrasound in the management of blunt abdominal trauma in Zaria, Nigeria

1 Department of Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, University Health Services, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Jerry G Makama
Department of Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-9596.110026

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Background: Abdominal ultrasound has assumed a major role in the management of blunt abdominal trauma. The aim of the study is to evaluate the role and vile of the use of ultrasonography in screening for blunt abdominal trauma in an emergency setting of a tertiary hospital in Nigeria. Materials and Methods: It is a retrospective study at a university hospital Zaria. All patients who presented with blunt abdominal trauma from 2008 to 2010 were reviewed retrospectively, using patients' case notes, ultrasonographic findings, operating theatre log books, and surgical audit data. Abdomino-pelvic ultrasound findings of all the patients were noted and compared with actual findings at operation followed by the analysis of the sensitivity and specificity of the ultrasound including positive predictive value and negative predictive value. The grade and experience of the principal Ultrasonographer were also noted. Results: In a total of 107 patients, 94 (87.8%) were males and 13 (12.14%) were females. The mean age was 33.4 ± 17.42 year (range 2-69). With the ultrasound, positive findings were present in 44 (41.1%) patients while negative findings in 2 (1.9%). Of these positive ultrasound findings, 18 (16.8%) had free intra-abdominal fluid only, 13 (12.1%) had both free intra-abdominal fluid and intra-abdominal organ injury, and 13 (12.1%) had intra-abdominal organ injury only. The major organs with injury included liver 18 (5.2%), spleen 16 (4.7%), stomach or bowel injury 6 (1.7%), and kidney or urinary bladder 3 (0.9%). The sensitivity of ultrasonography was 95.7%, while its specificity was 92%. The positive predictive value was 90% and the negative predictive value was 96.7%. Conclusion: Ultrasonography is an accurate and safe method for managing patients with blunt abdominal trauma.

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