OBJECTIVES: To show the wide spectrum of computed tomography (CT) findings in blunt renal trauma and to correlate them with consequent therapeutic implications. METHODS: This article is the result of a literature review and our personal experience in a level II trauma centre. Here we describe, discuss and illustrate the possible CT findings in blunt renal trauma, and we correlate them with the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) classification and their therapeutic implications. RESULTS: CT findings following blunt renal trauma can be grouped into 15 main categories, 12 of them directly correlated with the AAST classification and 3 of them not mentioned in it. Non-operative management, which includes the "watchful waiting" approach, endourological treatments and endovascular treatments, is nowadays widely adopted in blunt renal trauma, and surgery is limited to haemodynamically unstable patients and a minority of haemodynamically stable patients. CONCLUSIONS: The interpretation of CT findings in blunt renal trauma may be improved and made faster by the knowledge of their therapeutic consequences. TEACHING POINTS: • The majority of blunt renal injuries do not require surgical treatment. • CT findings in blunt renal injury must be evaluated considering their therapeutic consequences. • Some CT findings in blunt renal trauma are not included in the AAST classification.
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