J Korean Soc Emerg Med.  2005 Feb;16(1):171-176.

Diagnostic Value of Ultrasonography for the Assessment of Rib Fractures

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Kwandong, Kyunggi, Korea. erman@kwandong.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Kwandong, Kyunggi, Korea.
  • 3Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, University of Kwandong, Kyunggi, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
Rib fractures are the most common injuries resulting from blunt chest trauma. The sensitivity of conventional chest radiography (chest PA, rib series) in showing a rib fracture is limited, particularly in those involving the cartilage part of the rib. We investigated the possible rib fractures. We used ultrasonography (US) to investigate possible rib fractures in patients with minor blunt chest trauma who showed no evidence of a rib fracture on the conventional chest radiography.
METHODS
A total of 96 patients with minor blunt chest trauma and showing no evidence of a rib fracture on the conventional chest radiography were examined with US performed with a 7.5-MHz linear transducer.
RESULTS
A total of 44(45.8%) patients showed a rib fracture whereas 52(54.2%) patients had no evidence of a rib fracture. Fracture of the rib with displacement 24 patients was the most common finding.
CONCLUSIONS
Rib US is a useful imaging method in showing rib fractures overlooked on chest X-rays in cases of minor blunt chest trauma. Compared with conventional chest radiography, rib US takes a shorter time and is not difficult. Additionally, lesions combined with rib fractures and costal cartilage fractures are diagnosed more easily when using rib US.

Keyword

Rib fracture; Ultrasonography; Chest injury

MeSH Terms

Cartilage
Fractures, Cartilage
Humans
Radiography
Rib Fractures*
Ribs*
Thoracic Injuries
Thorax
Transducers
Ultrasonography*
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