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June 1978

Missile Tract Infections After Transcolonic Gunshot Wounds

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Health Sciences Center.

Arch Surg. 1978;113(6):727-728. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1978.01370180069009

• Severe invasive infections around missiles or missile tracts may occur after transcolonic gunshot wounds. Observations in seven patients disclosed that infections of bone, soft tissue, retroperitoneum, and vascular structures resulted from the contamination of these tissues by missiles that had passed through the lumen of the colon. The infections were frequently obscure and difficult to diagnose unless the missile was considered to be a potential source of contamination. Two of seven patients died as a direct result of infection. Aggressive debridement of missile tracts, removal of accessible missiles, and adjunctive antibiotic therapy were useful.

(Arch Surg 113:727-728, 1978)