Routine Angiographic Evaluation of Neck and Extremity Injuries

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Traumatic arterial injuries are becoming more common in civilian practice. In this study arteriography was done in 91 wounds of the neck and extremities regardless of physical findings (excluding exsanguinating or trivial injuries). Physical findings suggestive of the presence or absence of arterial injury were tabulated and compared with arteriographic findings. Physical findings were often found to be unreliable, yielding a false negative result in 20% and a false positive result in 42%. It is concluded that angiography is a safe, reliable method of diagnosis and should be routinely employed in all patients with major penetrating injuries of the neck and extremities as well as in selected patients with blunt injuries.

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