Imaging of renal trauma

Academic Article


  • Trauma is a major cause of death and disability and renal injuries occur in up to 10% of patients with significant blunt abdominal trauma. Patients with penetrating trauma and hematuria, blunt trauma with shock and hematuria, or gross hematuria warrant imaging of the urinary tract specifically and CT is the preferred modality. If there is significant perinephric fluid, especially medially, or deep laceration, delayed images should be obtained to evaluate for urinary extravasation. Most renal injuries are minor, including contusions, subcapsular and perinephric hematoma, and superficial lacerations. More significant injuries include deep lacerations, shattered kidney, active hemorrhage, infarctions, and vascular pedicle and UPJ injuries. These injuries are more likely to need surgery or have delayed complications but may still often be managed conservatively. The presence of urinary extravasation and large devitalized areas of renal parenchyma, especially with associated injuries of intraperitoneal organs, is particularly prone to complication and usually requires surgery. Active hemorrhage should be recognized because it often indicates a need for urgent surgery or embolization to prevent exsanguination.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Smith JK; Kenney PJ
  • Start Page

  • 1019
  • End Page

  • 1035
  • Volume

  • 41
  • Issue

  • 5