Abdominal trauma: use of oral contrast material for CT is safe

M P Federle, N Yagan, A B Peitzman, J Krugh
Radiology 1997, 205 (1): 91-3

PURPOSE: To determine the potential risk of aspiration pneumonitis associated with use of oral contrast material in computed tomography (CT) performed for evaluation of abdominal trauma.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In 510 consecutive adult patients, a dilute 2.5% solution of diatrizoate meglumine and sodium was administered orally or by means of a nasogastric tube as part of a routine protocol for CT evaluation of acute abdominal trauma. A retrospective review of medical records was performed to determine evidence of aspiration pneumonitis occurring before or after CT.

RESULTS: None of the patients had aspiration of contrast material or gastric contents attributable to the CT examination.

CONCLUSION: Use of contrast material for stomach and bowel opacification during CT for evaluation of abdominal trauma appears to be safe. Proper preparation and administration of contrast material and control of the patient's airway are essential to ensure the safety of this procedure.

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