Pelvic arterial hemorrhage in patients with pelvic fractures: detection with contrast-enhanced CT.

Radiographics

PubMedID: 15537967

Yoon W, Kim JK, Jeong YY, Seo JJ, Park JG, Kang HK. Pelvic arterial hemorrhage in patients with pelvic fractures: detection with contrast-enhanced CT. Radiographics. 2004;24(6):1591-605; discussion 1605-6.
Arterial hemorrhage is one of the most serious problems associated with pelvic fractures, and it remains the leading cause of death attributable to pelvic fracture. At many trauma centers, contrast material-enhanced computed tomography (CT) is increasingly used for initial diagnosis in the evaluation of patients with pelvic fractures. Extravasation of contrast material in the pelvis at contrast-enhanced CT is an accurate indicator of ongoing arterial hemorrhage in patients with pelvic fractures. Detection of such extravasation on CT scans can lead to prompt performance of angiographic embolization, which can be lifesaving. Furthermore, the site of contrast material extravasation seen at CT corresponds well to the site of bleeding seen at angiography. This correspondence enables the interventional radiologist to selectively study the arteries most likely to be injured and therefore potentially reduce the patient's morbidity and mortality. Knowledge of the relevant pelvic anatomy, including the osseous, ligamentous, and especially axial vascular anatomy, is essential for understanding the relationship between a site of contrast material extravasation at CT and the specific injured artery visualized at angiography.