Multidetector CT in vascular injuries resulting from pelvic fractures: A primer for diagnostic radiologists

Sameer B. Raniga*, Alok K. Mittal, Mark Bernstein, Matthew R. Skalski, Aymen M. Al-Hadidi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Pelvic vascular injuries are typically caused by high-energy trauma. The majority of these injuries are caused by motor vehicle collisions, and the rest are caused by falls and industrial or crush injuries. Pelvic vascular injuries are frequently associated with pelvic ring disruption and have a high mortality rate due to shock as a result of pelvic bleeding. Morbidity and mortality resulting from pelvic vascular injury are due to pelvic hemorrhage and resultant exsanguination, which is potentially treatable and reversible if it is diagnosed early with multidetector CT and treated promptly. The pelvic bleeding source can be arterial, venous, or osseous, and differentiating an arterial (high-pressure) bleed from a venous-osseous (low-pressure) bleed is of paramount importance in stratification for treatment. Low-pressure venous and osseous bleeds are initially treated with a pelvic binder or external fixation, while high-pressure arterial bleeds require angioembolization or surgical pelvic packing. Definitive treatment of the pelvic ring disruption includes open or closed reduction and internal fixation. Multidetector CT is important in the trauma setting to assess and characterize pelvic vascular injuries with multiphasic acquisition in the arterial and venous phases, which allows differentiation of the common vascular injury patterns. This article reviews the anatomy of the pelvic vessels and the pelvic vascular territory; discusses the multidetector CT protocols used in diagnosis and characterization of pelvic vascular injury; and describes the spectrum of pelvic vascular injuries, the differentiation of common injury patterns, mimics, and imaging pitfalls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2111-2129
Number of pages19
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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