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Correspondence and Brief Communications
April 1998

Abdominal Gunshot Wounds and Diagnostic Peritoneal Lavage

Arch Surg. 1998;133(4):465-466. doi:

In the August 1997 issue Kelemen et al1 evaluated the performance of diagnostic peritoneal lavage (DPL) in the stable patient with gunshot wounds to the abdomen.

One of the conclusions was that "DPL is highly predictive of the presence of intra-abdominal injury" and that "missed injuries are rare." On examination of the results, 14 patients had a negative DPL result. In this group 3 patients had bowel injuries, for a false-negative rate of 21%.