Author(s): Mazolewski PJ, Curry JD, Browder T, Fildes J
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Controversy surrounds the evaluation of zone II penetrating neck injuries. Current literature supports mandatory exploration or selective management. Computed tomographic (CT) scanning provides high-resolution images that are used for trauma in other body regions. The purpose of this study is to prospectively evaluate the utility of CT scanning in the evaluation of zone II penetrating neck injuries. METHODS: From July 1998 to November 1999, 14 stable patients were studied who sustained zone II penetrating neck injuries. All patients had a physical examination, infusion CT scan of the neck, and an operative exploration. Before surgery, the trauma surgeon evaluated the CT scan and interpreted it as demonstrating either "high" or "low" probability for significant injury. Surgical findings were compared with the surgeon's preoperative interpretation of the CT scan. RESULTS: Three of 14 patients had five significant injuries. All these patients had high probability of injury CT scans, with four of the five injuries specifically diagnosed by CT scan. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 100\%, 91\%, 75\%, and 100\% (p < 0.02), respectively. CONCLUSION: This small prospective study demonstrates that zone II penetrating neck injuries can be accurately evaluated by CT scan. In addition, the CT scan can be used for surgical decision making. This will eliminate the need for mandatory exploration and limit the role of angiography, esophagography, and endoscopy in zone II penetrating neck injuries.
This article was published in J Trauma
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports