Objectives: To identify predictive factors causing mortality in patients with injuries to the portal (PV) and superior mesenteric veins (SMV).
Design: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data.
Materials and methods: Adults admitted with blunt or penetrating PV and SMV injuries at an academic level I trauma center during a 20-year period.
Results: Of 26,387 major trauma victims admitted from 1987 through 2006, 26 sustained PV or SMV injuries (PV=15, SMV=11). Mechanism of injury was penetrating in 19 (73%) and 20 were in shock. Active hemorrhage occurred in 21. Most patients had associated injuries (2.9+/-1.8/patient). Mean Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 27.8+/-16.8. All PV injuries underwent suture repair and 27% of SMV injuries were ligated. Overall mortality was 46% (PV=47%, SMV=45%). Stab wounds had a lower mortality (31%) compared to gunshot wounds (67%) and blunt injuries (57%). Nonsurvivors had a higher ISS (35.8 vs. 20.9; p=0.02), more associated injuries (3.7 vs. 2.2; p=0.02), were older, and had active hemorrhage. Active hemorrhage (p=0.04) was independently related to death while shock on admission (odds ratio=6.1, p=0.61) trended toward higher mortality.
Conclusion: Despite improvements in trauma care, mortality of PV and SMV injuries remains high. Shock, active hemorrhage, and associated injuries were predictive of increased mortality.