Ultrasound and Perforated Viscus; Dirty Fluid, Dirty Shadows, and Peritoneal Enhancement

Hamid Shokoohi, Keith S Boniface, Bruce M Abell, Ali Pourmand, Mohammad Salimian
Emergency (Tehran, Iran) 2016, 4 (2): 101-5
Early detection of free air in the peritoneal cavity is vital in diagnosis of life-threatening emergencies, and can play a significant role in expediting treatment. We present a series of cases in which bedside ultrasound (US) in the emergency department accurately identified evidence of free intra-peritoneal air and echogenic (dirty) free fluid consistent with a surgical final diagnosis of a perforated hollow viscus. In all patients with suspected perforated viscus, clinicians were able to accurately identify the signs of pneumoperitoneum including enhanced peritoneal stripe sign (EPSS), peritoneal stripe reverberations, and focal air collections associated with dirty shadowing or distal multiple reflections as ring down artifacts. In all cases, hollow viscus perforation was confirmed surgically. It seems that, performing US in patients with suspected perforated viscus can accurately identify presence of intra-peritoneal echogenic or "dirty" free fluid as well as evidence of free air, and may expedite patient management.

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