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Journal Article


Jaggard MK, Johal NS, Choudhry M. J. Trauma 2011; 70(4): 1005-1010.


From the Department of Paediatric Surgery, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom.


(Copyright © 2011, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)






BACKGROUND: : Gallbladder injury in blunt abdominal trauma is a rare and difficult diagnosis. Gallbladder injury is reported to be between 1.9% and 2.1% of all abdominal traumas. It has vague symptoms usually with inconclusive investigation results; hence, it is often diagnosed at laparotomy. The patient typically has vague abdominal pain and occasionally a period of remission depending on the type of gallbladder injury. In pediatrics, blunt abdominal trauma presents additional challenges of difficult historians and compensating physiology. Any delay in diagnosis and definitive management will worsen the prognosis. Making the diagnosis requires astute clinical acumen and radiologic interpretation. The classification system of Losanoff has merit in guiding treatment. While cholecystectomy is the preferred treatment, there are occasions when the gallbladder may be left in situ and these are discussed. METHODS: : Literature searches were performed using Pubmed and Medline with keywords "abdominal trauma," "gallbladder injury," and "gallbladder perforation." DISCUSSION: : The authors highlight the incidence of associated visceral injuries in gallbladder trauma (>90%). Gallbladder perforation is more likely in cases when the gallbladder is distended and thin-walled at the time of injury. Therefore, we recommend that gallbladder perforation is suspected in those patients who have drunk alcohol or eaten recently. Despite the developments in modern computed tomography, identifying gallbladder perforation is difficult because of the subtlety and rarity of the condition. We draw attention to the proposed anatomic classification systems because they are of some use in guiding treatment. In the absence of a diagnosis after blunt abdominal trauma and with intra-abdominal free fluid, the clinician faces the difficult decision of whether surgery is indicated for a potential visceral injury. After discussing the available evidence, the authors advocate a low index of suspicion for performing diagnostic laparoscopy.

Language: en


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