Lessons learned in the management of thirteen celiac axis injuries

South Med J. 2005 Apr;98(4):462-6. doi: 10.1097/01.SMJ.0000136239.16913.C2.


Objectives: Celiac axis injuries are rare. The purposes of this study were to (1) review institutional experience, (2) determine additive effect on death of associated vessel injuries, and (3) correlate mortality rates with the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma-Organ Injury Scale (AAST-OIS) for abdominal vascular injury.

Methods: This was a retrospective, 132-month study (January 1992 to December 2002) of patients with celiac axis injuries.

Results: Thirteen patients were included in the study. Mean revised trauma score was 5.35+/-2.63; mean injury severity score was 25+/-12. The mechanism was penetrating in 12 (92%) and blunt in 1 (8%); 3 of 13 had Emergency Department thoracotomy (100% mortality rate). Treatment included ligation in 11 and primary repair in 1; 1 exsanguinated. Overall survival was 5 of 13 (38%). Adjusted survival excluding patients who had Emergency Department thoracotomy was 5 of 10 patients (50%). Those surviving with isolated injuries included 57% of patients. Mortality rate versus AAST-OIS was grade III, 43% (3 of 7 patients); grade IV, 50% (1 of 2 patients); and grade V, 100% (4 of 4 patients).

Conclusions: Celiac axis injuries are rare. Patients with isolated injuries have better survival rates. Mortality rate correlates well with AAST-OIS for abdominal vascular injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Celiac Artery / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Wounds and Injuries / surgery