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. 1995 Dec;39(6):1157-63.
doi: 10.1097/00005373-199512000-00026.

Proximity Penetrating Extremity Trauma: The Role of Duplex Ultrasound in the Detection of Occult Venous Injuries

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Proximity Penetrating Extremity Trauma: The Role of Duplex Ultrasound in the Detection of Occult Venous Injuries

P J Gagne et al. J Trauma. .

Abstract

The diagnosis and management of occult vascular injuries caused by penetrating proximity extremity trauma (PPET) remains controversial. Over 18 months, we prospectively screened 37 patients (43 lower extremities) with PPET for occult arterial and venous injuries using noninvasive studies (physical examination, ankle-brachial indices, color-flow duplex ultrasonography (CFD)) and angiography (arteriography, venography). Eight isolated, occult venous injuries were detected (incidence, 22%). CFD detected seven of eight (88%) venous injuries. Venography was technically difficult to perform in this patient population and failed to detect four femoral-popliteal vein injuries. Major thromboembolic complications (pulmonary embolism, symptomatic deep vein thrombosis, venous claudication) occurred in 50% of the patients identified with femoral-popliteal vein injuries. Arterial injuries were detected in 4 of 42 (10%) extremities (arteriography, n = 3; CFD, n = 1) and were clinically benign. We conclude that following PPET, (1) isolated, occult venous injuries are common and are associated with significant complications and (2) CFD is useful for screening for occult venous injuries.

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