Interesting finding on “Pan Scan”…


The trauma “Pan Scan” has been a controversial topic for a while now.  “Pan Scan” has multiple meanings but is usually some combination of head, c-spine, chest and abdomen CT imaging to identify serious traumatic related injuries.  Downsides include cost, radiation, and contrast.  Upsides include early identification of serious trauma including solid organ injuries.  Here is an interesting case that presents an original argument for the “Pan Scan:”

Pills in skin folds 2 Pills in skin folds

This person came in with altered mental status and trauma (single car MVC).  CT identified a large number of hidden pills later identified as an opioid pain medication.  They were hidden in an abdominal fold just above the pubis!

(Disclaimer:  Please don’t misinterpret this as an argument to identify pills with a pan scan.  It would have been much more cost effective to find them on physical exam)

Image Contributor:  Julie Phan, MD

Author:  Russell Jones, MD

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EMREMS: Radiology in Emergency Medicine

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