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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 12(3); 2001 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2001;12(3): 277-283.
Diagnostic Value of Ultrasonography for the Assessment of Sternal Fractures
Seok Ran Yeom, Jae Kwang Kim, Gun Lee, Cheol Wan Park, Hyuk Jun Yang, Sung Youl Hyun, Yong Su Lim, Wook Jin
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Gil Medical Center, Gachon Medical College, Incheon, Korea. er@ghil.com
2Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Gil Medical Center, Gachon Medical College, Incheon, Korea.
This study compared the value of ultrasonography(US) in the diagnosis of sternal fractures with those of conventional radiography and bone scan. MATERIAL AND METHOD: From March 2000 to March 2001, in Gil Medical Center, Gachon Medical College, 44 patients(22 women and 22 men, mean age 46 years, range 5~81 years) complained of tenderness in the sternal area. The cases histories of these patients with clinically suspected sternal fracture due to blunt trauma were prospectively studied. At the time of admission, conventional radiography(sternal view) was done. At one day after admission, sternal ultrasonography was obtained, and after 4~5 days, a bone scan was done. Sternal ultrasonographic findings, conventional radiographic findings, and bone-scan findings were compared. In addition, a 12-lead ECG was done. When it was necessary, cardiac enzyme was checked and echocardiography was performed. RESULT: In 21 of 44 patients(48%), a sternal fracture was found by sternal US. Only 9 of 21 patients (43%) were diagnosed as having a sternal fracture by using conventional radiography. 23 of 44 patients (52%) have negative findings on sternal US; they also had negative findings on conventional radiography. Except for 7 unchecked patients, 13 of 21 patients(62%) were diagnosed as having a sternal fracture by bone scan, and among the 23 patients who had negative findings on sternal US, the 19 patients checked with a bone scan also had negative findings.
Sternal US can find sternal fractures that are difficult to find on conventional radiography. Compared with bone scan, sternal US takes a shorter time and sternal US is not difficult. Additionally, combined lesions with sternal fractures(peristernal hematoma, soft tissue swelling) and costal cartilage fractures are diagnosed more easily when using sternal US.
Key words: Sternal fracture, Ultrasonograph
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