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July 1996

The Use of Duplex Ultrasonography in Penetrating Neck Trauma

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery (Drs Ginzburg and Martin), and the Department of Radiology (Drs Montalvo, LeBlang, and Nunez), University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Fla.

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

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