Background: Determining surgical treatment is difficult in blunt abdominal trauma (BAT) patients with isolated free fluid without solid organ injury (IFFWSOI) on abdominal computed tomography (CT). We investigated the laboratory, clinical, and radiologic features of BAT patients with IFFWSOI on abdominal CT requiring surgery. Methods: A retrospective medical record review was performed for patients treated at our government-established regional tertiary trauma center from March 2014 to August 2018. A total of 501 patients were identified and reviewed. Patients were divided into Surgery and No Surgery groups for analysis. The Surgery group included patients who underwent surgery during the index admission, while the No Surgery group included patients who did not undergo surgery. Results: There were significantly more cases of severe fluid collection (61.5% vs. 11.8%; p < 0.001), car accidents (69.2% vs. 35.3%; p = 0.018), and abdominal pain (87.2% vs. 58.8%; p = 0.031) at the emergency department in the Surgery group. Regarding laboratory studies performed at the emergency department, only the median amylase level was significantly higher in the No Surgery group (54.5 U/L vs. 62.5 U/L; p = 0.048). On multivariate logistic regression analysis with adjustments for age and sex, the odds ratio (OR) for severe fluid collection on abdominal CT to predict surgery was 13.52 (p = 0.006), while the OR for abdominal pain was 7.34 (p = 0.036) and the OR for car accident was 2.14 (p = 0.329). In addition, a multivariate logistic regression with adjustment for age, sex, delta neutrophil index, and C-reactive protein, showed the same propensity as the other model, although statistical significance was retained only for severe fluid collection. Conclusion: Surgical treatment should be actively considered in the presence of a large volume of intra-abdominal free fluid, especially when concomitant with abdominal pain or after car accidents in BAT patients without solid organ injury.
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