Context Isolated blunt duodenal injury is a rare finding associated with high morbidity and significant mortality. The early identification of a duodenal injury is usually difficult, considering the anatomical location of the duodenum and lack of peritoneal signs and diagnostic delay is part of the clinical picture in most cases. Case report A 43-year-old man was admitted to our hospital after a motor vehicle collision. At admission he underwent emergency surgery because of lower extremities fractures. Twelve hours later he started to complain an increasing abdominal pain; blood tests showed serum amylase up to 180 U/L and a CT scan demonstrated a perforation of the third duodenal portion. At laparotomy a Grade III injury of the duodenum was evident. The laceration was sutured and a “quadruple-tube” decompression was performed. The postoperative course was uneventful. One year after surgery he is well without any long-term complication. Conclusion A high degree of suspicion is necessary for early diagnosis of blunt duodenal trauma and CT scan should be performed in case of all significant epigastric trauma. In most cases primary direct repair of duodenal wounds can be safely achieved and duodenal decompression via triple or quadriple tube technique is required to decrease the risk of duodenal fistula.
Roberto Salvia, Massimo Falconi, Paolo Pederzoli, Stefano Crippa, Giuliano Barugola, Rossella Bettini, Silvia Germenia