Current value of peritoneal tap in blunt abdominal trauma

Ergene Ü., ÇOŞKUN F., Eray O., Gökçe Ö., Fowler J., Haciyanli M., ...More

European Journal of Emergency Medicine, vol.9, no.3, pp.253-257, 2002 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/00063110-200209000-00009
  • Journal Name: European Journal of Emergency Medicine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.253-257
  • Keywords: Blunt abdominal trauma, Haemoperitoneum, Paracentesis
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


This study aimed to establish the diagnostic value of paracentesis (peritoneal tap) in the assessment of patients with blunt abdominal trauma. Paracentesis, using a four-quadrant puncture technique, was performed in blunt abdominal trauma victims presenting to the emergency department of a tertiary-care university medical centre. Pregnant patients, those under 18 or those having an abdominal scar were excluded from the study. All patients then underwent one of the following procedures as indicated: emergency ultrasound, abdominal computed tomography scan, diagnostic peritoneal lavage or laparotomy. Paracentesis results were compared with the results of other tests and surgery in diagnosing haemoperitoneum. Haemoperitoneum was confirmed surgically in six of the seven patients with a positive paracentesis. Nine out of 65 patients with positive clinical findings but negative taps underwent surgical intervention, and abdominal bleeding was confirmed in eight. Three seriously injured patients died before diagnostic studies or laparotomy could be performed. In conclusion, a positive paracentesis result may be used to guide decision-making in the setting of blunt abdominal trauma if other diagnostic methods are unavailable. Its high false-negative rate limits its overall usefulness. © 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.