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July 1996

The Use of Duplex Ultrasonography in Penetrating Neck Trauma

Arch Surg. 1996;131(7):691-693. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430190013002

Objective:  To compare intraoperative findings and/or angiography with color-flow duplex scan.

Design:  This prospective double-blind study was performed on all stable patients with zone 1, 2, or 3 penetrating neck trauma. Results of angiographic or intraoperative findings were compared with the results of duplex ultrasonographic scans.

Main Outcome Measures:  Fifty-five patients were studied over a 2-year period in which the distribution of injuries included 23 stab wounds (42%), 30 gunshot wounds (54%), and 2 motor vehicular lacerations (4%). There were 42 patients (76%) with normal ultrasonographic results and 13 patients (24%) with abnormal ultrasonographic results. The true-negative rate was 100%; however, there were 2 false positives resulting in 100% sensitivity and 85% specificity.

Conclusions:  Duplex ultrasonography provides an excellent diagnostic modality with cost-saving, patient-friendly characteristics and a low rate of morbidity. It should be instituted as the primary diagnostic procedure of choice for penetrating neck trauma.Arch Surg. 1996;131:691-693