Management of traumatic duodenal hematomas in children

Michelle L. Peterson, Paulette I. Abbas, Sara C. Fallon, Bindi J. Naik-Mathuria, Jose Ruben Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background Duodenal hematomas from blunt abdominal trauma are uncommon in children and treatment strategies vary. We reviewed our experience with this injury at a large-volume children's hospital. Materials and methods A retrospective case series was assembled from January 2003-July 2014. Data collected included demographics, clinical and radiographic characteristics, and hospital course. Patients with grade I injuries based on the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma Duodenum Injury Scale were compared with those with grade II injuries. Results Nineteen patients met inclusion criteria at a median age of 8.91 y (range, 1.7-17.2 y). Mechanisms of injury included direct abdominal blow or handle bar injury (n = 9), nonaccidental trauma (n = 5), falls (n = 3), and motor vehicle accident (n = 2). Ten patients had grade I hematomas and nine had grade II. Hematomas were most frequently seen in the second portion of the duodenum (n = 9). Five patients underwent a laparotomy for concerns for hollow viscus injury. No patients required operative drainage of the hematoma; however, one patient underwent percutaneous drainage. Twelve patients received parenteral nutrition (PN) for a median duration of 9 d (range, 5-14 d). Median duration of PN for grade I was 6.5 d (range, 5-8 d) versus 12 d for grade II (range, 9-14 d; P = 0.016). Complications included one readmission for concern of bowel obstruction requiring bowel rest. Conclusions This study suggests that duodenal hematomas can be successfully managed nonoperatively. Grade II hematomas are associated with longer duration of PN therapy and consequently longer hospital stays. These data can assist in care management planning and parental counseling for patients with traumatic duodenal hematomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-129
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Blunt abdominal trauma
  • Duodenal hematoma
  • Nonoperative management
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Pediatric trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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