The incidence of morbidity and mortality for iliac vascular injuries in the literature are likely overestimated owing to associated injuries. Data for isolated iliac vascular injuries are very limited. No large studies have reported the incidence of morbidity for repair versus ligation of isolated iliac vein injuries.Methods
Patients in the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB; 2007-2012) with at least one iliac vascular injury were analyzed. Isolated iliac vessels were defined as cases with Abbreviated Injury Scale severity score of greater than 3 for extraabdominal injuries and an Organ Injury Scale grade of greater than 3 for intraabdominal injuries.Results
Overall, 6262 iliac vascular injuries (2809 penetrating, 3453 blunt) were identified in 271,076 patients with abdominal trauma (2.3%). There were 3379 patients (1841 penetrating, 1538 blunt) with isolated iliac vascular injuries (1.2%) and 557 patients (514 penetrating, 43 blunt) with combined iliac artery and vein injuries (0.2%). The 30-day mortality rate was 16.5% for isolated iliac vein injury, 19.3% for isolated iliac artery injury, and 48.7% for combined isolated iliac artery and vein injury. The 30-day mortality rate was 23.4% for isolated iliac vascular injuries compared with 39.0% for nonisolated iliac vascular injuries (P < .001). Patients with isolated iliac vein injuries had morbidity rates of deep venous thrombosis (repair, 14.6%; ligation, 14.1%; P = .875), pulmonary embolism (repair, 1.8%; ligation, 0.5%; P = .38), fasciotomy (repair, 9.3%; ligation, 14.6%; P = .094), amputation (repair, 1.8%; ligation, 2.6%; P = .738), acute kidney injury (repair, 5.8%; ligation, 4.7%; P = .627). Multivariate logistic regression demonstrated that ligation of isolated iliac vein injuries had an odds ratio of 2.2 for mortality compared with repair (95% confidence interval, 1.08-4.66).Conclusions
Isolated iliac vascular injuries are associated with a high incidence of mortality, especially for combined venous and arterial injury, but mortality is significantly lower than in patients with nonisolated iliac vascular injuries. In patients with isolated iliac vein injuries, mortality was higher in patients who underwent ligation compared with repair; however, the rates of deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, fasciotomy, amputation, and acute kidney injury were not different between the treatment groups. These data lend credence to the assessment that repair of iliac vein injuries is preferable to ligation whenever feasible.