Flat IVC on CT associated with deterioration

BACKGROUND: : We aimed to investigate the value of the diameter of the inferior vena cava (IVC) on initial computed tomography (CT) to predict hemodynamic deterioration in patients with blunt torso trauma.

METHODS: : We reviewed the initial CT scans, taken after admission to emergency room (ER), of 114 patients with blunt torso trauma who were consecutively admitted during a 24-month period. We measured the maximal anteroposterior and transverse diameters of the IVC at the level of the renal vein. Flat vena cava (FVC) was defined as a maximal transverse to anteroposterior ratio of less than 4:1. According to the hemodynamic status, the patients were categorized into three groups. Patients with hemodynamic deterioration after the CT scans were defined as group D (n = 37). The other patients who remained hemodynamically stable after the CT scans were divided into two groups: patients who were hemodynamically stable on ER arrival were defined as group S (n = 60) and those who were in shock on ER arrival and responded to the fluid resuscitation were defined as group R (n = 17).

RESULTS: : The anteroposterior diameter of the IVC in group D was significantly smaller than those in groups R and S (7.6 mm ± 4.4 mm, 15.8 mm ± 5.5 mm, and 15.3 mm ± 4.2 mm, respectively; p < 0.05). Of the 93 patients without FVC, 16 (17%) were in group D, 14 (15%) required blood transfusion, and 8 (9%) required intervention. However, of the 21 patients with FVC, all patients were in group D, 20 (95%) required blood transfusion, and 17 (80%) required intervention. The patients with FVC had higher mortality (52%) than the other patients (2%).

CONCLUSION: : In cases of blunt torso trauma, patients with FVC on initial CT may exhibit hemodynamic deterioration, necessitating early blood transfusion and therapeutic intervention.

Predictive Value of a Flat Inferior Vena Cava on Initial Computed Tomography for Hemodynamic Deterioration in Patients With Blunt Torso Trauma
J Trauma. 2010 Dec;69(6):1398-402