Background/aim: To evaluate the effects of oxidant/antioxidant mechanisms and levels of trace elements on trauma-stimulated moderate pulmonary contusions after vitamin E administration. Materials and methods: Sixty-three male Sprague Dawley rats were used. Animals were studied in 4 groups. Vitamin E (150 mg/kg) was injected intraperitoneally 30 min after trauma and on the first and second days. Blood samples were obtained for nitric oxide (NO) levels and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities. Zinc (Zn+2), copper (Cu+2), and iron (Fe+3) were measured in serum. Results: Lung contusion increased serum and tissue NO levels and SOD activities and decreased GSH-Px activities (P < 0.05). Vitamin E significantly (P < 0.05) decreased NO levels and SOD activities and increased GSH-Px. Serum Zn+2, Cu+2, and Fe+3 levels were statistically significantly influenced by the administration of vitamin E (P < 0.05). Group 4 had lower scores compared to Group 3 (P < 0.05) and no difference compared to Group 1 (P > 0.05). Conclusion: These results suggest that treatment with vitamin E reduces lung oxidative stress and related mechanisms in isolated lung contusion as demonstrated by an experimental rat model.