Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Laparotomy Sponge on Radiographs

Laparotomy sponges (lap pads) typically have an attached radiopaque strip (seen above) to aid in radiographic detection. However, retained sponges can be missed due to a number of factors: Poor image quality, inadequate field of view, distracting radiopaque operative densities, and inadequate history.

A subtle secondary sign of a retained sponge is mottled radiolucencies representing trapped air. When in doubt, cross sectional imaging can be helpful.


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