Background: The aim of this study is to describe point-of-care ultrasound and Color flow Duplex Doppler characteristics of penetrating and blunt trauma-related vascular injuries of the limbs and neck.
Methods: Penetrating and blunt trauma-related vascular injuries such as vein disruption, intimal flap, deep vein thrombosis, arterial dissection, pseudoaneurysm, and arteriovenous fistulae are discussed in this manuscript. Images of the most significant lesions of our personal clinical experience are presented to illustrate point-of-care ultrasound and Color flow Duplex Doppler ultrasound findings.
Results: Penetrating and blunt trauma-related vascular injuries represent a big challenge. While patients with hard signs of arterial damage must be sent immediately to surgical exploration, when there are soft signs or no clear signs of vascular injury at the physical examination, and the patient is stable, imaging investigation and observation can be useful in the diagnosis and management of these patients. Although angiography is the gold standard of the imaging methods, point-of-care ultrasound and Color flow Duplex Doppler ultrasound are widely available, cheaper, noninvasive, and faster to obtain. They can provide bedside valuable information for the identification of some vascular injuries allowing to an integrated management of the trauma patient, enriched by the use of ultrasound.
Conclusions: Point-of-care ultrasound and Color flow Duplex Doppler examination are increasingly used in the decision making process of trauma-related vascular injuries.
Keywords: Color flow Duplex Doppler; Critical ultrasound; Doppler sonography; Point-of-care ultrasound; Trauma; Vascular injury.