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THE JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY
Rivista di Chirurgia Cardiaca, Vascolare e Toracica
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES VASCULAR PAPERS
The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2000 June;41(3):423-31
Carotid artery injuries and their management
Mittal V. K., Paulson T. J., Colaiuta E., Habib F. A., Penney D. G., Daly B. *, Young S. C.
From the Department of Surgery, Providence Hospital, Southfield, MI and *Grace Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA
Background. Major vascular injuries in the region of the neck are most frequently the result of penetrating trauma. Evaluation and management of patients with injury to Zone II of the neck remains highly controversial. Most studies involve small number of patients with a lack of standardization of the nature of the injury in reporting outcome. It is the purpose of this study to propose a grading scale for vascular injuries in the neck that would allow for more uniform reporting of such injuries.
Methods. Experimental design: A retrospective review of all patients treated for penetrating trauma to the neck was performed and the subset of patients with major vascular injuries identified. Data from this group of patients are presented. Setting: Level II urban trauma center. Patients and interventions: During the period July 1984 to June 1994, 107 patients were treated for penetrating neck trauma. Injuries to the major arteries of the neck were present in 18 of the 107 patients (16.8%). All injuries were graded on the developed scale. Management protocol was based on the grade of the injury. Grade 1 injuries were managed non-operatively with systemic anticoagulation and low molecular weight dextran. Grade 2 injuries were treated with primary repair. Injuries of Grades 3 and 4 were treated by primary repair or interposition graft. Exceptions were isolated injuries of the external carotid artery, which were treated by ligation alone.
Results. Of the 18 patients with carotid artery injuries, 2 had injuries of the external carotid artery, treated with ligation alone. The internal carotid artery was injured in 7 cases. An interposition saphenous vein/PTFE graft was used in all cases. In 9 cases the common carotid artery was injured. Repair was accomplished by a combination of either a primary repair or interposition graft. Overall mortality was 3/16 (16.6%). No new or worsening of neurologic deficit occurred in any patient.
Conclusions. Carotid artery injuries occur in about 17% of patients with penetrating neck trauma. Data regarding management and prognosis in these patients are at best concflicting, in part, due to lack of a standardized classification system. The proposed grading scale is designed to overcome this problem.