Article Abstract

Pulmonary contusion

Authors: Szilárd Rendeki, Tamás F. Molnár


Lung contusion resulting from chest trauma may be present various clinical pictures. It quite often remains unrecognized and is only suspected later when severe complications have developed. Lung contusion may present in association with chest trauma but may also occur alone. It has to be emphasized, that lung contusion as a clinical identity does not necessarily require a blunt or penetrating chest to be in the background. Nowadays, as a result of traffic accidents, following high energy deceleration, lung contusion may present without an actual tissue damage in the chest wall as a condition initiating an independent, life-threatening generalised process. Although lung contusion shows similarities to blast injury of the lung with respect to clinical consequences, other factors play a role in its aetiology and pathology. Its description and recognition as an independent pathology is not simple. Several approaches exist: thoracic trauma, pulmonary contusion, pulmonary laceration, lung contusion; although these may show similar clinical signs, manifest in different pathologies. Pathologies with similar meaning and possibly similar clinical course cannot, actually, be differentiated; they may accompany other injuries to the trunk, skull or extremities, which, alone, are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Generally, it can be declared that besides high energy, blunt injuries affecting the trunk, lung contusion, has been an often neglected additional radiological finding attached to the main report, despite the fact, that its late consequences crucially determine the prospects of the injured.