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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 28

of 'Emergency ultrasound in adults with abdominal and thoracic trauma'

Pelvic free fluid: clinical importance for reproductive age women with blunt abdominal trauma.
Ormsby EL, Geng J, McGahan JP, Richards JR
Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2005;26(3):271.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the importance of isolated pelvic free fluid (FF) detected by ultrasound examination in pregnant patients and in non-pregnant reproductive age women with blunt abdominal trauma (BAT).
METHODS: Reproductive age women aged 10-50 years who presented with BAT and underwent focused abdominal sonography for trauma (FAST) from January 1995 to June 2002 at a Level 1 trauma center were included. Patients were assigned to four groups according to the location of FF detected by ultrasound (Group 1, no FF; Group 2, FF in pelvis; Group 3, FF in abdomen; Group 4, FF in abdomen and pelvis). Ultrasound findings were compared with intra-abdominal and pelvic injuries detected by computed tomography and/or laparotomy. Pair-wise comparison was performed using a Fisher's exact test.
RESULTS: Ultrasound detection of FF in the abdomen alone or FF in the abdomen and pelvis was significantly associated with intra-abdominal injury (IAI) compared to those without FF (P<0.001) for both pregnant and non-pregnant reproductive age women. FF isolated to the pelvis was also associated with a higher injury rate compared to no FF in pregnant women (30% vs. 3%, P = 0.005) and in non-pregnant reproductive age women (39.5% vs. 3.7%, P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: In reproductive age women with BAT, ultrasound detection of FF in the abdomen alone, in both the abdomen and pelvis, or isolated to the pelvis is associated with a higher IAI rate. Therefore, isolated FF in the pelvis should not necessarily be considered physiological in pregnant and non-pregnant patients with BAT.
Department of Radiology, University of California, Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.