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September 1985

Emergency Intravenous Pyelography in the Trauma Patient: A Reexamination of the Indications

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Trauma, University of California School of Medicine, San Diego (Drs Brahme and Wachtel and Mr Mulligan) and the Department of Surgery, Albany (NY) Medical College (Dr Fortune). Dr Wachtel is now with Good Samaritan Hospital, Phoenix.

Arch Surg. 1985;120(9):1056-1059. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1985.01390330066014

• Because of the high incidence of abnormal intravenous pyelograms (IVPs) in victims of blunt trauma undergoing resuscitation, a retrospective review of the Trauma Registry at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center, was undertaken to evaluate the indications for ordering this test. The charts of 216 patients were reviewed, all of whom had formal IVPs (four films) done as an emergency procedure at the time of admission. In this study, special attention was directed toward comparing both the degree of hematuria and the anatomic site of injury with the results of the IVP. A total of 20 renal injuries was detected by IVP. Of these injuries, all but one had hematuria that was greater than 50 red blood cells per high-power field. All but one of the abnormal IVPs were associated with obvious abdominal injuries. The results of the IVP influenced the clinical course of only one patient in the entire series. We conclude that the use of the formal IVP (four films) in the resuscitation phase of treating the multiply traumatized patient be reserved for those patients with penetrating abdominal injury or with hematuria consisting of greater than 50 red blood cells per high-power field. For any major blunt abdominal trauma without significant hematuria, a more simple and rapid study (one-shot IVP) to demonstrate bilateral nephrograms is probably adequate to rule out occult renal artery thrombosis.

(Arch Surg 1985;120:1056-1059)

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