A Prognostic Model for the Risk of Development of Upper Extremity Compartment Syndrome in the Setting of Brachial Artery Injury

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A potentially devastating sequela of brachial artery injury in the setting of upper extremity trauma is the development of compartment syndrome (CS). We performed a retrospective review of 139 trauma patients with brachial artery injury from 1985–2001. Objective characteristics of each case were extracted and analyzed using multivariate logistic regression. Three variables were found to be significant in the final model: estimated intraoperative blood loss as a continuous variable, and presence of a multiple arterial injury and presence of an open fracture as categorical variables. Odds ratio were 1.12, 5.79, and 2.68, respectively. We used these variables to create a summative score for the development of CS with weights assigned proportional to the adjusted odds ratio. Odds of having CS for subjects in group 2 and group 3 are 5.3 and 15.1 times the odds for subjects in group 1, respectively. Applying multivariate regression analysis to the largest series of brachial artery injuries to date, we have developed a predictive scoring model of CS.

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