Emergency center arteriography

J Trauma. 1992 Mar;32(3):302-6; discussion 306-7. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199203000-00007.


From 1983 through 1989, 1,882 emergency center arteriograms were performed on 1,802 patients suspected of having peripheral vascular injuries. The most common indication for emergency center arteriography (ECA) was the proximity of an injury to a major vascular structure. This was the only indication in 1,712 injured extremities (91%). There were 1,510 true negative arteriograms, 294 true positives, 7 false negatives, and 14 false positives. Accordingly, the sensitivity was 95.5% and the specificity was 97.7%. The remaining 57 arteriograms were either equivocal or technically inadequate. Further evaluation of these patients uncovered an additional 11 vascular injuries. Operative intervention was required for 196 (64.3%) injuries detected by emergency arteriography. The remaining 109 injuries were considered minor and were not repaired. No complications developed in 91 patients (88%) with minor vascular injuries who were available for a mean follow-up duration of 12 months. One thousand forty-eight patients (69.4%) with negative arteriograms were followed for a mean of 18 months, and no vascular complications were noted. Emergency center arteriography is a rapid, accurate, and cost-effective technique. It is of particular value in detecting the presence of occult arterial injuries when proximity of a major vascular structure is the sole indication for arteriography. When formal arteriographic support is either unavailable or time consuming, ECA is recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiography* / economics
  • Blood Vessels / injuries*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • False Negative Reactions
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / methods