Pediatric Blunt Trauma Resulting in Major Arterial Injuries

Milas, Zvonimir L.; Dodson, Thomas F.; Ricketts, Richard R.
May 2004
American Surgeon;May2004, Vol. 70 Issue 5, p443
Academic Journal
Ten children, aged 4 to 14 years, sustaining blunt arterial trauma from motor vehicle collisions (6), bicycle accidents (2), and falls (2)were identified over a 10-year period. The arteries injured included the common iliac (3), abdominal aorta (2), carotid (2), brachial (2), and the subclavian, renal, and femoral artery (1 each). One patient had three arterial injuries. Six patients had associated injuries including a pelvic and lumbar spine fracture, Homer's syndrome, liver laceration, skull fracture, open humerus fracture, small bowel serosal tear, and a brachial plexus injury. Definitive diagnosis was made using arteriography (6), computed tomography (CT) scan (2), and physical examination (2). The types of arterial injuries found included incomplete transection, complete transection with pseudo-aneurysm formation, traumatic arteriovenous (AV) fistulas, complete occlusion, and dissection. Repair was accomplished by hypogastric artery interposition or bypass grafting, synthetic grafting with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), reverse saphenous vein grafting, or primary repair, depending on the circumstances. An AV fistula between the carotid artery and cavernous sinus was embolized. All grafts remained patent with exception of the aorto-renal bypass graft at follow-up ranging from 1 month to 3 years. The principles for repairing vascular injuries in children are slightly different than those in adults. Every effort should be made to use autogenous tissue such as the hypogastric artery or saphenous vein for repair if possible. If not, PTFE grafts can be used, although the long-term patency of these grafts in growing children is not known.


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