Whole body computed tomography in multi trauma patients: Review of the current literature
Şeref Kerem Çorbacıoğlu1, Gökhan Aksel2
1Kecioren Training and Research Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine, Ankara, Turkey
2Ümraniye Training and Research Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey
Keywords: Whole body computed tomography, Pan-ctMultitrauma, Selective CT, Atls, Radiation exposure
Many authors adopt the Selected Computed Tomography (SCT) approach of the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) for the management of multiple trauma patients. In the SCT approach, the initial physical examination is followed by conventional radiography (cervical X-ray, chest X-ray, pelvic X-ray and Focused Abdominal Sonography in Trauma (FAST)), and the computed tomography (CT) of the specific body regions if indicated. An alternative to this traditional approach is the Whole-body Computed Tomography (WBCT) protocol, which became widespread all over the world in the last two decades to minimize the rate of missed injuries and decrease the mortality rate.
According to the literature, the WBCT approach is superior to the traditional SCT approach in the time of imaging, diagnostic accuracy, and mortality rates. Conversely, WBCT increases the cancer risk due to additional irradiation. Therefore, it is recommended that the WBCT protocol should be reserved for only severe multi-trauma patients. However, further studies to define severe patients, and clinical decision criteria for WBCT are needed.