Blunt duodenal injuries in children

Ketan M. Desai, Ian G. Dorward, Robert K. Minkes, Patrick A. Dillon, Henri Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Background Duodenal injury secondary to blunt trauma continues to pose a diagnostic challenge. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the cause, radiologic findings, and management of duodenal injuries from a Level I pediatric trauma center. Methods A retrospective review of our trauma registry from 1990 to 2000 identified 24 children with blunt duodenal injuries. Clinical and radiographic findings and management strategies were assessed and compared in children with duodenal hematomas and perforations. Results The majority of injuries were secondary to motor vehicle collisions. Pancreatic (42%) injuries were most commonly associated with duodenal trauma. With the exception of hematocrit level, initial clinical and laboratory findings were similar between groups. Of the 19 (79%) with duodenal hematomas, computed tomographic (CT) scan alone identified 15 and the remaining 4 were confirmed by duodenography. Incision and drainage of a hematoma was performed in two children. Duodenal perforation was identified in five (21%) children. Extraluminal air by CT scan was present in three of five children with perforation; however, none had extravasation of contrast. Four (80%) children with perforations underwent primary repair and one (20%) required segmental resection. Conclusion CT scanning remains a valuable tool in the diagnosis of blunt duodenal injuries in children. Although extravasation of oral contrast was not beneficial, the presence of extraluminal air was highly suggestive of perforation. The vast majority of hematomas were successfully managed nonoperatively, and duodenorrhaphy was safe and effective therapy for perforations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)640-646
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • Blunt
  • Children
  • Duodenal
  • Injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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