European Society of Emergency Radiology: guideline on radiological polytrauma imaging and service (short version)

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

This artice is free to access.


Background: Although some national recommendations for the role of radiology in a polytrauma service exist, there are no European guidelines to date. Additionally, for many interdisciplinary guidelines, radiology tends to be under-represented. These factors motivated the European Society of Emergency Radiology (ESER) to develop radiologically-centred polytrauma guidelines. Results: Evidence-based decisions were made on 68 individual aspects of polytrauma imaging at two ESER consensus conferences. For severely injured patients, whole-body CT (WBCT) has been shown to significantly reduce mortality when compared to targeted, selective CT. However, this advantage must be balanced against the radiation risk of performing more WBCTs, especially in less severely injured patients. For this reason, we recommend a second lower dose WBCT protocol as an alternative in certain clinical scenarios. The ESER Guideline on Radiological Polytrauma Imaging and Service is published in two versions: a full version (download from the ESER homepage, and a short version also covering all recommendations (this article). Conclusions: Once a patient has been accurately classified as polytrauma, each institution should be able to choose from at least two WBCT protocols. One protocol should be optimised regarding time and precision, and is already used by most institutions (variant A). The second protocol should be dose reduced and used for clinically stable and oriented patients who nonetheless require a CT because the history suggests possible serious injury (variant B). Reading, interpretation and communication of the report should be structured clinically following the ABCDE format, i.e. diagnose first what kills first.




Wirth, S., Hebebrand, J., Basilico, R., Berger, F. H., Blanco, A., Calli, C., … Dick, E. (2020). European Society of Emergency Radiology: guideline on radiological polytrauma imaging and service (short version). Insights into Imaging, 11(1).

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free