ICU patients with infectious complications after abdominopelvic surgery: Is thoracic CT in addition to abdominal CT helpful?

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung


Background: The aim of this study was to assess the usefulness of adding thoracic CT to abdominal CT in intensive care unit (ICU) patients with signs of infection after abdominopelvic surgery. Methods: 143 thoracoabdominal CTs of ICU patients with signs of infection after abdominopelvic surgery were retrospectively reviewed for thoracic pathologies. It was determined if pathologic findings were visible only on thoracic CT above the diaphragmatic dome or also on abdominal CT up to the diaphragmatic dome. All thoracic pathologies visible only above the diaphragmatic dome were retrospectively analyzed by an ICU physician in terms of clinical relevance. Diagnostic and therapeutic efficacy of thoracic CT were assessed with regard to an infectious focus and to other pathologic findings. Results: 297 pathologic thoracic findings were recorded. 26 of the 297 findings could only be detected on images obtained above the diaphragmatic dome (in 23 of 143 CTs). A change in patient management was initiated due to only one of the 26 supradiaphragmatic findings. Diagnostic efficacy of thoracic CT in addition to abdominal CT to identify an infectious focus was 3.5% (95%-CI: 0.5–6.5%) and therapeutic efficacy was 0.7% (95%-CI: 0–2.1%). With regard to all pathologic thoracic findings, diagnostic efficacy was 16.1% (95%-CI: 10.1–22.1%) and therapeutic efficacy remained at 0.7%. Conclusions: Additional thoracic CT to detect an infectious focus in ICU patients after abdominopelvic surgery leads to identification of the focus in only 3.5% and to changes in patient management in only 0.7%. Other relevant findings are more common (16.1%), but very rarely affect patient management.


FachzeitschriftAnnals of intensive care
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Dez. 2023

Externe IDs

ORCID /0000-0001-5061-9643/work/148606539


ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete


  • Diagnostic imaging, Infections, Intensive care units, Multidetector computed tomography, Surgery