Background. The objective of this study was to compare the sensitivity and specificity of 5 abdominal views for detecting free intraperitoneal fluid in trauma patients later diagnosed with hepatic or splenic injuries. Methods. This retrospective study conducted over a 17-month period enrolled patients with trauma. A Focused Abdominal Sonogram for Trauma (FAST) examination was done using 5 abdominal views. Exploratory laparotomy or computed tomography (CT) confirmed the presence of intraperitoneal fluid and associated injuries. The sensitivity and specificity were determined. Results. Of the 245 study patients, 29 had injuries to the liver or spleen or both. The 5-view FAST examination's sensitivity for detecting free intraperitoneal fluid associated with hepatic, splenic, or combined injuries was 77%, 90%, and 100%, respectively. The sensitivity of the single Morison's pouch view in detecting free intraperitoneal fluid associated with hepatic, splenic, or combined injuries was 38%, 20%, and 67%, respectively. Conclusion. For identifying free intraperitoneal fluid associated with hepatic or splenic injuries, no single view of the FAST examination could match the sensitivity provided by the 5-view technique.
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