The GU tract can be injured by blunt trauma (eg, motor vehicle crashes, falls) or penetrating trauma (eg, gunshot or stab wounds). Some injuries are caused during surgical procedures. Symptoms and signs are often subtle or nonspecific; therefore, diagnosis requires a high level of suspicion. Whenever urinalysis shows any hematuria in a patient with trauma, GU injury should be presumed until proved otherwise. Depending on the suspected site of injury, imaging studies, most often contrast-enhanced CT, are typically used to make a diagnosis. General evaluation of the trauma patient is discussed elsewhere (see Approach to the Trauma Patient).
Last full review/revision February 2007 by Noel A. Armenakas, MD