Diagnostic Accuracy of Liver Damage Based on Postmortem Computed Tomography Findings in High-Energy Trauma

Satsuki Okumura, Akihito Usui, Yusuke Kawasumi, Hayato Odagiri, Masato Funayama, Tomohiro Kaneta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The liver is an organ that is frequently injured by blunt trauma. In clinical medicine, contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) is useful for diagnosing liver damage. However, detection of liver injury is difficult with postmortem CT (PMCT) that does not use contrast media. This study aims to identify findings that are useful for diagnosing liver injury with PMCT. This study included 97 high-energy trauma cases that underwent both PMCT without contrast and forensic autopsy between July 2009 and November 2020. PMCT findings in and around the liver in cases of liver injury were collected. The diagnostic accuracy of each finding was calculated. Of 97 cases, 62 had liver injury on autopsy. PMCT detected hepatic surface gas in 31 cases, intrahepatic focal gas in 19 cases, high-density fluid accumulation around the liver in 12 cases, and fracture of a right lower (9th-12th) rib in 48 cases. Abnormal PMCT findings in and around the liver had insufficient diagnostic sensitivity, ranging from 19.4% to 38.7%. By contrast, the finding of a right lower rib fracture was more sensitive for suspected liver injury. Our results indicate that abdominal liver findings (hepatic surface gas, intrahepatic focal gas, and high-density fluid accumulation around the liver) are of limited utility for the diagnosis of liver injury, whereas a right lower rib fracture is a useful indirect finding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-332
Number of pages6
JournalTohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Volume257
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • autopsy
  • liver
  • postmortem computed tomography
  • rib fractures
  • sensitivity and specificity

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