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To determine the point prevalence of urine bilirubin, urine hemoglobin and urobilinogen in blunt trauma patients, and to evaluate its utility as a screening tool for intra-abdominal injury. Data analysis of 986 consecutive trauma patients of which 698 were adult blunt trauma patients. Five-hundred sixteen subjects had a urinalysis and a CT scan of the abdomen/pelvis or exploratory laparotomy. We reviewed initial urinalysis results from trauma patients in the emergency department (ED) for the presence of urine hemoglobin, uroblinogen and urine bilirubin. Computed tomography (CT) scan results and operative reports were reviewed from the trauma registry for evidence of liver laceration, spleen laceration, bowel or mesenteric injuries. There were 73 injuries and 57/516 patients (11%) with intra-abdominal injury. Urinalysis was positive for urobilinogen in 28/516 (5.4%) patients, urine bilirubin in 15/516 (2.9%) patients and urine hemoglobin in 313/516 (61%) patients. Nineteen/forty-seven (4%) subjects had liver lacerations, 28/56 (5%) splenic lacerations, and 15/5 (3%) bowel or mesenteric injury. Comparing the proportion of patients that had urobilinogen detected in the group with and without intra-abdominal injury, 8/28 (29%) subjects with urobilinogen, 5/15 (33%) subjects with bilirubin and 47/313 (15%) subjects with urine hemoglobin were found to have liver lacerations, spleen lacerations, or bowel/mesenteric injuries. Preexisting liver or biliary conditions were not statistically associated with elevation of urine bilirubin, urine hemoglobin or urobilinogen on initial urinalysis after blunt abdominal trauma. Point prevalence for urobilinogen, urine bilirubin and urine hemoglobin are 5.43% (28/516), 2.91% (15/516) and 60.7% (313/516) respectively. The utility of the initial routine urinalysis in the ED for adult blunt abdominal trauma patients should not be used as a screening tool for the evaluation of intra-abdominal injury.


Julie Gorchynski, Kevin Dean, Craig L Anderson. Analysis of urobilinogen and urine bilirubin for intra-abdominal injury in blunt trauma patients. The western journal of emergency medicine. 2009 May;10(2):85-8

PMID: 19561824

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