Study: CTA negates need for catheter angiography for blunt trauma patients
CT angiography (CTA) offers an accurate and rapid diagnosis for blunt trauma victims who may have aortic or great vessel injury negating the need for more invasive procedures, according to a recent study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology, published by the American Roentgen Ray Society.

CTA is often used to rule out blunt aortic and intrathoracic great vessel injuries, but sometimes the results are indeterminate, said Marla Sammer, MD, lead author of the study. When this occurs, a subsequent catheter angiography is usually performed.

The study is a retrospective analysis of patients presenting with blunt trauma over 4.5 years at a level one trauma center.

The study consisted of 72 patients, who had bleeding and other injuries around the aorta who underwent both CTA and invasive catheter angiography. The CTA results were noted as being indeterminate. Of the 72 patients, no aortic injuries were missed by CTA.

“Our study adds to the growing evidence that catheter angiography may be unnecessary in cases where the CT angiogram is indeterminate for aortic injury,” Sammer said.

Radiologists at the University of Washington and the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center in Seattle conducted the study.