The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of helical computed tomographic angiography (HCTA) to detect vascular injury in penetrating neck trauma. Thirty-five patients (30 gunshot wounds and 5 stab wounds) were studied prospectively with HCTA. Scans were performed with a 5- mm slice thickness at a 1:1 pitch after injection of 90 ml of nonionic contrast medium (30-second delay) at 3 ml/sec. Results were compared with those for angiography (29), surgery (3), ultrasound (2), and local inspection (1). HCTA correctly revealed 19 normal and 10 abnormal studies. In 8 cases, HCTA revealed irregular vessel margins (3), contrast extravasation (2), lack of vascular enhancement (1), and caliber changes (2). In 2 patients, HCTA revealed indirect signs of injury only. In 6 cases, HCTA findings did not correlate with angiography. HCTA detects both direct and indirect signs of vascular injury. Although indirect findings are more sensitive, the direct evaluation of vessels increases the specificity and has a high negative predictive value.
- CT angiography
- Penetrating neck trauma
- Spiral CT
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging