OBJECTIVES: Controversies emerge over routine performances of whole-body computed tomography (WBCT) in patients with blunt polytrauma. The existing randomized and non-randomized evidence is inconclusive, and during observations of non-trauma, incidental findings, detected by WBCT, have left uncertainty regarding their consequences and optimal management. Additionally, previous meta-analyses have failed to address the limitations of primary studies and issues associated with incidental findings. Therefore, we planned a new systematic review to address these points. METHODS: We will search the PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central databases from inception to December 31, 2020, with no language restriction and perform full-text evaluation of potentially relevant articles. We will include prospective and retrospective studies with a single-gate design that assessed diagnostic accuracy and/or yield of WBCT to detect traumatic injuries, and studies that assessed incidental findings detected by WBCT. Additionally, we will include randomized controlled trials and non-randomized comparative studies that assessed the effectiveness of WBCT against conventional care, including selective computed tomography (CT). Studies of patients of all ages with blunt traumatic injuries, assessed at an emergency department, will be included. Two reviewers will extract data and rate the study validity via standard quality assessment tools. The primary outcome of interest will be reduction in mortality. Our secondary outcomes will include diagnostic accuracy and yield, detection of incidental findings and clinical outcomes associated with these detections, and improvement in other non-mortality clinical outcomes. We will qualitatively assess study, patient, and intervention characteristics and clinical outcomes. If appropriate, we will perform random-effects model meta-analyses to obtain summary estimates. Finally, we will assess the certainty of evidence by the grading the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethics approval is not applicable, as this is a secondary analysis of publicly available data. The review results will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. PROSPERO REGISTRATION: CRD42020187852.
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