Penetrating iliac vascular injuries: recent experience with 233 consecutive patients

J Trauma. 1990 Dec;30(12):1450-9.


During a recent 11-year period, 233 consecutive patients with 358 penetrating iliac vascular injuries were treated at our institution. Injuries of the common and external iliac arteries were most often repaired with lateral suture (31%) although several other techniques were also employed. Lateral suture and ligation were used with nearly equal frequency in the management of venous injuries. The hospital mortality rate for the series was 28%, and 56/66 deaths (85%) were due to exsanguination or shock. One patient, initially treated with an end-to-end anastomosis of the iliac artery, died a year after discharge from a ruptured false aneurysm. Two patients treated with lateral suture of venous injuries died of pulmonary embolism. Arterial complications occurred in 15% of patients with arterial injuries and three patients required amputation. No graft infections occurred in 16 patients treated with PTFE interpositions, including four with associated colorectal injuries. Venous complications occurred in 12% of patients with venous injuries, and most were noted in those treated with ligation. Four patients treated by venous ligation developed chronic venous insufficiency. The prevention of death from exsanguination is the greatest problem in the management of patients with iliac vascular injuries. Although some late deaths and many complications may be related to the technique of vascular repair, circumstances often prohibit alternative methods. Despite two deaths from pulmonary embolism, insufficient data exist to condemn lateral suture of venous injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Hemorrhage / mortality
  • Hemorrhage / surgery
  • Humans
  • Iliac Artery / injuries*
  • Iliac Artery / surgery
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Wounds, Penetrating / complications
  • Wounds, Penetrating / mortality*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / surgery