Author(s): Bodanapally UK, Dreizin D, Sliker CW, Boscak AR, Reddy RP
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The purposes of this study were to assess the diagnostic performance of 40- and 64-MDCT angiography with digital subtraction angiography as the reference standard in the detection of arterial injuries in patients at high risk after penetrating neck trauma and to perform a separate analysis of injuries to the external carotid artery. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a retrospective evaluation of 53 sets of angiograms from 51 patients with penetrating neck injury, three reviewers unaware of the digital subtraction angiographic findings reviewed the CT angiographic (CTA) images to discern the presence or absence of arterial injuries. Sensitivity and specificity of CTA were calculated per injury, and a separate analysis of external carotid artery injuries was performed. RESULTS: Sensitivity of CTA for detecting arterial injuries ranged from 75.7\% (95\% CI, 62.3-86.9\%) to 82.2\% (95\% CI, 69.5-92.1\%). Specificity ranged from 96.4\% (95\% CI, 94.0-98.4\%) to 98.4\% (95\% CI, 96.0-100\%). CTA was highly sensitive for detection of the subgroup of injuries involving the large-caliber vessels that contribute to cerebral circulation. These sensitivities ranged from 92.8\% (95\% CI, 66-98.8\%) to 100\% (95\% CI, 76.6-100\%) for internal carotid artery injuries and from 88.9\% (95\% CI, 65.2-98.3\%) to 94.4\% (95\% CI, 72.6-99.0\%) for vertebral artery injuries. In contrast, sensitivity of CTA was limited for external carotid artery injuries, ranging from 63.4\% (95\% CI, 45.5-79.5\%) to 70.0\% (95\% CI, 52.0-85.0\%). CONCLUSION: CTA can be used for initial evaluation and may help guide management decisions if an external carotid artery injury is detected. Negative findings should not preclude close clinical follow-up, repeat CTA evaluation, or, in the presence of high suspicion of arterial injury due to clinical findings or wound trajectory, evaluation with digital subtraction angiography.
This article was published in AJR Am J Roentgenol
and referenced in Journal of Trauma & Treatment