American College of Surgeons

View all recommendations from this society

Released September 4, 2013

Avoid the routine use of “whole-body” diagnostic computed tomography (CT) scanning in patients with minor or single system trauma.

Aggressive use of “whole-body” CT scanning improves early diagnosis of injury and may even positively impact survival in polytrauma patients.  However, the significance of radiation exposure as well as costs associated with these studies must be considered, especially in patients with low energy mechanisms of injury and absent physical examination findings consistent with major trauma.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) solicited recommendations for the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely® campaign from the Commission on Cancer, Committee on Trauma, and the Advisory Councils for Colon and Rectal Surgery, General Surgery, and Pediatric Surgery. The committees were provided with a description of the campaign’s initiative, a link to the Choosing Wiselywebsite, and published recommendations from organizations already participating in the campaign were referenced and reviewed during discussions. All of the recommendations collected from the ACS committees were reviewed, and five items were identified. The ACS’ disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.facs.org.

Participating ACS Committees:

Advisory Council for Colon and Rectal Surgery

  • Chair: Thomas E. Read, MD, FACS, Burlington, MA

Advisory Council for General Surgery

  • Chair: E. Christopher Ellison, MD, FACS, Columbus, OH

Advisory Council for Pediatric Surgery

  • Chair: Mary E. Fallat, MD, FACS, Louisville, KY
  • Immediate Past Chair: Thomas F. Tracy Jr., MD, FACS, Providence, RI

Commission on Cancer

  • Chair: Daniel P. McKellar, MD, FACS, Greenville, OH

Committee on Trauma

  • Chair: Michael F. Rotondo, MD, FACS, Greenville, NC

Sources

Huber-Wagner S, Lefering R, Qvick LM, Körner M, Kay MV, Pfeifer KJ, Reiser M, Mutschler W, Kanz KG; Working Group on Polytrauma of the German Trauma Society. Effect of whole-body CT during trauma resuscitation on survival: a retrospective, multicentre study. Lancet. 2009 Apr 25;373(9673):1455-61.

Stengel D, Ottersbach C, Matthes G, Weigeldt M, Grundei S, Rademacher G, Tittel A, Mutze S, Ekkernkamp A, Frank M, Schmucker U, Seifert J.Accuracy of single-pass whole-body computed tomography for detection of injuries in patients with blunt major trauma. CMAJ. 2012 May 15;184(8):869-76.

Ahmadinia K, Smucker JB, Nash CL, Vallier HA. Radiation exposure has increased in trauma patients over time. J Trauma. 2012 Feb;72(2):410-5.

Winslow JE, Hinshaw JW, Hughes MJ, Williams RC, Bozeman WP. Quantitative assessment of diagnostic radiation doses in adult blunt trauma patients. Ann Emerg Med. 2008 Aug;52(2):93-7.