Document Detail

Risk factors for compartment syndrome in traumatic brachial artery injuries: an institutional experience in 139 patients.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20009687     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: The brachial artery is the most common vascular injury encountered in upper extremity trauma. If not treated promptly, it can result in compartment syndrome (CS) and long-term disability. Here, we report an institutional experience of traumatic brachial artery injuries and establish risk factors for the development of upper extremity CS in this setting. METHODS: A retrospective review of 139 patients with traumatic brachial artery injury from 1985 to 2001 at a single institution. Patients were divided into two cohorts, those with evidence of CS and those without CS (NCS), for comparison. RESULTS: One hundred thirty-nine patients presented with traumatic brachial artery injuries (mean age, 28.4 years). Twenty-nine patients (20.9%) were diagnosed with upper extremity CS, and 28 of these patients underwent fasciotomy on recognition of their CS. Seven patients (6.4%) in the NCS cohort underwent fasciotomy as a result of absent distal pulses on initial examination. Mean follow-up was 51.6 days. Two patients required revision of their arterial repair, and one patient underwent amputation. The risk of CS was increased in the presence of combined arterial injuries (p = 0.03), combined nerve injuries (p = 0.04), motor deficits (p < 0.0001), fractures, and increased intraoperative blood loss (p = 0.001). Multivariate logistic regression performed on these variables revealed that elevated intraoperative blood loss, combined arterial injury, and open fracture were independent risk factors for the development of CS (OR 1.12, 5.79, and 2.68, respectively). CONCLUSION: Prompt evaluation and management of traumatic brachial artery injuries is important to prevent CS, which can lead to functional deficits. In the setting of combined arterial injury, open fracture, and significant intraoperative blood loss, prophylactic fasciotomy should be considered.
John Y S Kim; Donald W Buck; Antonio J V Forte; Vairavan S Subramanian; Michael V Birman; Clark F Schierle; Oliver Kloeters; Kenneth L Mattox; Matthew J Wall; Michael J Epstein
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of trauma     Volume:  67     ISSN:  1529-8809     ISO Abbreviation:  J Trauma     Publication Date:  2009 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-12-16     Completed Date:  2010-01-26     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376373     Medline TA:  J Trauma     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1339-44     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Brachial Artery / injuries*,  surgery*
Chi-Square Distribution
Compartment Syndromes / surgery*
Logistic Models
Middle Aged
Postoperative Complications
Retrospective Studies
Risk Factors
Upper Extremity / injuries*,  surgery*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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