Objective Patients undergoing damage control (DC) laparotomy require intensive and aggressive resuscitation, and may require additional maneuvers to control parenchymal bleeding. Those patients suffering significant liver injury are at high risk for arterial bleeding deep within the liver, and many require hepatic angiography in addition to hepatic packing. We reviewed our experience with hepatic angiography, and sought to determine its safety in the DC population of penetrating and blunt trauma patients. Methods A 3-year (June 1997-May 2000) retrospective review generated 37 DC patients. Patients sustaining hepatic trauma constituted the study group. Patients undergoing angiography in addition to DC laparotomy were compared with the group of patients not undergoing angiography. Data regarding mechanism of injury, patient demographics, extent of hepatic injury, and presence of associated injuries were collected. Physiologic parameters including vital signs at admission, lowest pH and base excess in the operating room, and lactate levels in the intensive care unit, as well as volumes of fluid resuscitation throughout all phases of DC were examined. Complications including death, intra-abdominal processes, acute respiratory distress syndrome and/or multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, and acute renal failure were reviewed. Results Nineteen patients (51%) had hepatic trauma and underwent perihepatic packing as a part of DC laparotomy. Eleven had sustained penetrating injury and 8 had blunt injury. There was 1 American Association for the Surgery of Trauma grade I, 5 grade II, 3 grade III, and 10 grade IV injuries. Nine patients in the study population underwent angiography, and eight of these were hepatic artery angiograms. One hepatic angiogram was obtained before operation and seven were obtained in the immediate postoperative period. Six underwent embolization of bleeding hepatic vessels, for a therapeutic liver angiography rate of 75%. There was no statistical difference in physiologic parameters or fluid requirements between the patients who underwent angiography and those who did not. There were no mishaps or complications from angiography or while in the angiography suite. Conclusion Hepatic angiography is a safe adjunct to the principles of damage control. It has a high therapeutic ratio, with no significant untoward effect in this small study population.
- Damage control
- Hepatic injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine