Intraoperative angioembolization in the management of pelvic-fracture related hemodynamic instability

Robert A. Cherry, David C. Goodspeed, Frank C. Lynch, John Delgado, Spence J. Reid

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17 Scopus citations


Background: This case series report discusses patients presenting with hemorrhage and hemodymanic compromise due to severe pelvic fractures and undergoing intraoperative angioembolization (IAE) with other resuscitative procedures.Methods: We used portable digital subtraction fluoroscopy units for IAE in patients with severe pelvic hemorrhage and hemodynamic instability (5/03-4/09). Data was collected on demographics, injury severity, resource utilization, and outcomes at our Level 1 trauma center.Results: There were 6,538 adult admissions with 912 having pelvic fractures and 65 of these undergoing pelvic angioembolization. Twelve hemodynamically compromised patients (10 males, 2 females) had intraoperative pelvic angiography (age: 22-79 years; mean 51.3 ± 17.4). Injury severity score (ISS) was 37.5 ± 8.4 (22-50). Mean emergency department (ED) length of stay (LOS) was 57.4 min ± 47.9 with 10 patients transported directly to the OR and 2 to the SICU prior to OR. Ten of 12 patients underwent exploratory laparotomy followed by angioembolization. Mortality was 50%. Among the 6 survivors (ISS 22 - 50), all had a pre-op CT scan, five had an initial base deficit <13, and four were transfused ≤ 6 units pre-incision/pre-procedure. Four of the 6 survivors had unilateral embolization. In contrast, all 6 non-survivors (ISS 29-41) required massive transfusion prior to OR (>6 units PRBCs) with 4 having a based deficit >13. Three of these patients bypassed CT and five underwent bilateral internal iliac embolization (BIIE).Conclusions: IAE for severe pelvic hemorrhage can be successfully performed concurrently with exploratory laparotomy, pelvic packing or other resuscitative procedures. Patients most likely to benefit have a base deficit <13, and do not require massive transfusion prior to IAE or suffer from a vertically unstable pelvis fracture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
JournalJournal of Trauma Management and Outcomes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 26 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine


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