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In a retrospective study involving 866 multiply-injured patients we demonstrated urinary tract injuries in 72 patients (8.3 per cent), 17 (2 per cent) of which were serious. Haematuria was a frequent finding in multiply-injured patients. In patients with serious lesions of the urinary tract, more than 35 RBCs/HPF in the sediment or macroscopic haematuria were found. All major injuries were demonstrated by the emergency intravenous urogram. Ultrasonography demonstrated contusions of the kidney or bladder and ruptures of the kidneys, but was not reliable in diagnosing ruptures of the bladder.
Of 155 patients with a pelvic fracture 13 (8 per cent) had lower urinary tract injuries. In all these patients the fracture was located in the pubic arch. If a retrograde urethrogram was performed in these patients all urethral lesions were detected.
We propose a rational guideline, which guarantees diagnostic accuracy of serious injuries of the urinary tract after blunt trauma, while interfering as little as possible with the resuscitative and diagnostic procedures in severely injured patients.
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Accepted: March 7, 1991
© 1991 Published by Elsevier Inc.