Alternatives in the management of penetrating injuries to the iliac vessels 57th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-for-the-Surgery-of-Trauma Carrillo, E. H., Spain, D. A., Wilson, M. A., Miller, F. B., Richardson, J. D. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 1998: 1024–29


The high mortality and morbidity rates after iliac vessel injuries remain a challenging problem for trauma surgeons. Several controversial issues surround the management of iliac vessel injuries, including the value of abbreviated laparotomy, the role of extra-anatomic bypass reconstruction (EABR), the use of vascular prostheses in the presence of contamination, and the need and timing for fasciotomy.Retrospective review of the records of patients who sustained an injury to the iliac vessel between 1987 and 1996.A total of 64 patients were treated, including 23 with isolated iliac vein injuries, 17 with arterial injuries, and 24 with combined arteriovenous injuries. Vascular prostheses were placed in 17 patients with arterial injuries, including 12 with associated intestinal wounds. Graft infection did not occur. Of the 24 patients with combined injuries, 11 underwent abbreviated laparotomy and 1 died. Five deaths, however, occurred in 13 patients in whom no attempts were made for damage control laparotomy. Significant differences between survivors and nonsurvivors included final arterial pH, final prothrombin time, length of hypotension, and number of transfusions. Arterial ligation with EABR was performed in five patients and failed in two. Deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism occurred in four patients, in three of them after venous injuries were ligated. The overall mortality rate was 23%.Our findings show that (1) abbreviated laparotomy reduces mortality in iliac injuries; (2) EABR should be performed early after stabilization to prevent limb ischemia; (3) the use of vascular prostheses with associated intestinal injuries did not appear to increase the incidence of graft infection; and (4) after vein ligation, early fasciotomy and prophylaxis against extremity swelling, deep venous thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism should be considered.

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