Abdominal Imaging - Original Article

Comparison of MDCT protocols in trauma patients with suspected splenic injury: superior results with protocol that includes arterial and portal venous phase imaging


  • Raymond Melikian
  • Stephanie Goldberg
  • Brian James Strife
  • Robert A. Halvorsen

Received Date: 21.07.2015 Accepted Date: 03.02.2016 Diagn Interv Radiol 2016;22(5):395-399


We aimed to determine which intravenous contrast-enhanced multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) protocol produced the most accurate results for the detection of splenic vascular injury in hemodynamically stable patients who had sustained blunt abdominal trauma.


We retrospectively reviewed 88 patients from 2003 to 2011 who sustained blunt splenic trauma and underwent contrast-enhanced MDCT and subsequent angiography. Results of MDCT scans utilizing single phase (portal venous only, n=8), dual phase (arterial + portal venous or portal venous + delayed, n=42), or triple phase (arterial + portal venous + delayed, n=38) were compared with results of subsequent splenic angiograms for the detection of splenic vascular injury.


Dual phase imaging was more sensitive and accurate than single phase imaging (P = 0.016 and P = 0.029, respectively). When the subsets of dual phase imaging were compared, arterial + portal venous phase imaging was more sensitive and accurate than portal venous + delayed phase imaging (P = 0.005 and P = 0.002, respectively). Triple phase imaging was more accurate (P = 0.015) than dual phase; however, when compared with the dual phase subset of arterial + portal venous, there was no statistical difference in either sensitivity or accuracy.


Our results support the use of dual phase contrast-enhanced MDCT, which includes the arterial phase, in patients with suspected splenic injury and question the utility of obtaining a delayed sequence.