The routine use of exclusion angiography in trauma to the extremities has resulted in varying percentages of negative studies, mostly because of a great variability in location and type of injury. The authors reviewed 117 low-velocity gunshot wounds to the extremities. Twenty-six cases presented with hard signs of vascular injury and underwent immediate exploration. Ninety-one exclusion angiograms were performed (11 for soft signs and 80 for proximity only), 89 (98%) were considered negative. Two cases (2 %) that presented without hard signs required vascular repair. Physical examination alone was 93 % sensitive and 99 % specific for recognition of vascular injuries. Routine angiography did not substantially improve the diagnostic accuracy and had a positive predictive value of only 2%. The authors conclude that angiography may be safely omitted in low-velocity gunshot wounds to the extremities if the absence of signs or symptoms of vascular injury can be firmly established.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine