The liver is the second most commonly involved solid organ (after spleen) to be injured in blunt abdominal trauma, but liver injury is the most common cause of death in such trauma. In patients with significant blunt abdominal injury, the liver is involved approximately 35 to 45% of the time. Its large size also makes it a vulnerable organ, commonly injured in penetrating trauma. Other than its position and size, the liver is surrounded by fragile parenchyma and its location under the diaphragm makes it vulnerable to shear forces during deceleration injuries. The liver is also a vascular organ made of large, thin-walled vessels with high blood flow. In severe hepatic trauma, hemorrhage is a common complication and uncontrolled bleeding is usually fatal. In fact, in patients with severe abdominal trauma, liver injury is the primary cause of death. This article reviews the clinical presentation of patients with liver injury, the grading system for such injuries that is most frequently used, and management of the patient with liver trauma.
- hepatic injury
- interventional radiology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine