Purpose: This study examined the value of including a venous phase in addition to the initial arterial phase in the CT angiography evaluation of extremity trauma. Methods: CT studies from 157 patients (average age 38 years, age range 18–89 years, male 83%, female 17%) were obtained for trauma to the upper or lower extremity with both arterial and venous phases and retrospectively reviewed. The detection rate and type of vascular injury were evaluated by using the arterial phase alone and compared to the detection rate when interpreting the arterial and venous phases together. Results: Arterial injury was identified in 35 cases (22%), and venous injury was identified in seven cases (5%). Four cases of discrepant diagnoses were identified between image interpretation of the arterial phase alone and interpretation using both phases, all of which were venous injuries that were visible only on the venous phase. None of the four cases of venous injury required a change in surgical management. Overall, no significant difference in diagnosis between the two methods of image interpretation (arterial phase alone, arterial and venous phases) was discovered (p > 0.125; CI 95%). Conclusions: The use of a venous phase in the CT angiography evaluation of extremity trauma does not add significant arterial diagnostic or clinical management value despite its potential of increasing the diagnostic detection rate of venous injury.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Emergency Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging