Patel DP, Redshaw JD, Breyer BN, Smith TG, Erickson BA, Majercik SD, Gaither TW, Craig JR, Gardner S, Presson AP, Zhang C, Hotaling JM, Brant WO, Myers JB

Injury. 2015 Mar 1. pii: S0020-1383(15)00084-4. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2015.02.008. [Epub ahead of print]

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: 

Most high-grade renal injuries (American Association for Surgery of Trauma (AAST) grades III-V) result from motor vehicle collisions associated with numerous concomitant injuries. Sports-related blunt renal injury tends to have a different mechanism, a solitary blow to the flank. We hypothesized that high-grade renal injury is often isolated in sports-related renal trauma.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: 

We identified patients with AAST grades III-V blunt renal injuries from four level 1 trauma centres across the United States between 1/2005 and 1/2014. Patients were divided into "Sport" or "Non-sport" related groups. Outcomes included rates of hypotension (systolic blood pressure <90mm Hg), tachycardia (>110bpm), concomitant abdominal injury, and procedural/surgical intervention between sports and non-sports related injury.

RESULTS: 

320 patients met study criteria. 18% (59) were sports-related injuries with the most common mechanisms being skiing, snowboarding and contact sports (25%, 25%, and 24%, respectively). Median age was 24 years for sports and 30 years for non-sports related renal injuries (p=0.049). Males were more commonly involved in sports related injuries (85% vs. 72%, p=0.011). Median injury severity score was lower for sports related injuries (10 vs. 27, p<0.001). There was no difference in renal abbreviated injury scale scores. Sports related trauma was more likely to be isolated without other significant injury (69% vs. 39% (p<0.001)). Haemodynamic instability was present in 40% and 51% of sports and non-sports renal injuries (p=0.30). Sports injuries had lower transfusion (7% vs. 47%, p<0.001) and lower mortality rates (0% vs. 6%, p=0.004). There was no difference in renal-specific procedural interventions between the two groups (17% sports vs. 18% non-sports, p=0.95).

CONCLUSIONS: 

High-grade sports-related blunt renal trauma is more likely to occur in isolation without other abdominal or thoracic injuries and clinicians must have a high suspicion of renal injury with significant blows to the flank during sports activities.