Intraabdominal injury is common in blunt trauma patients who sustain spinal cord injury

Ali Salim, Marcus Ottochian, Ryan J. Gertz, Carlos Brown, Kenji Inaba, Pedro G.R. Teixeira, Peter Rhee, Demetrios Demetriades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The evaluation of the abdomen in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) is challenging for obvious reasons. There are very little data on the incidence and complications of patients who sustain SCI with concomitant intraabdominal injury (IAI). To determine the incidence and outcomes of IAI in blunt trauma patients with SCI, a trauma registry and record review was performed between January 1998 and December 2005. Baseline demographic data, Injury Severity Score, and associated IAI were collected. Two groups were established and outcomes were analyzed based on the presence or absence of IAI. Intraabdominal and hollow viscus injures were found in 15 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively, of 292 patients with blunt SCI. The presence of intraabdominal injury varied according to the level of the SCI: 10 per cent of cervical, 23 per cent of thoracic, and 18 per cent of lumbar SCI. The overall mortality was 16 per cent. The presence of intraabdominal injury was associated with longer intensive care unit length of stay (13 versus 6 days, P < 0.01), hospital length of stay (23 versus 18 days, P < 0.05), higher complication rate (46% versus 33%, P = 0.09), and higher mortality (44% versus 11%, P < 0.01) when compared with patients with SCI without IAI. Intraabdominal injuries are common in blunt SCI. Liberal evaluation with computed tomography is necessary to identify injuries early.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1035-1038
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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