Iliac vein injuries in hemodynamically unstable patients with pelvic fracture caused by blunt trauma

Yuichi Kataoka, Kazuhiko Maekawa, Hiroshi Nishimaki, Shinichiro Yamamoto, Kazui Soma, Donald J. Scholten, Steven R. Shackford, Renato S. Poggetti, David H. Wisner, Rao Ivatury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: Major pelvic venous injuries secondary to blunt trauma can be a difficult problem in diagnosis and management This study aimed to elucidate the clinical significance of iliac vein injuries demonstrated by venography in patients with blunt pelvic injuries who remained unstable even after transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE). Methods: We reviewed the records of 72 patients with unstable pelvic fracture who presented with shock at our center after blunt trauma from 1999 through 2003. The average Injury Severity Score was 34.3 in this study population. Results: TAE was the first method of choice to control bleeding from pelvic fracture in 61 patients. Thirty-six patients recovered from shock after TAE. Eighteen of 25 who did not recover from shock died. In 11 of these 25, transfemoral venography with a balloon catheter was performed, revealing significant venous extravasation in 9: common iliac vein in 5, internal iliac vein in 3, and external iliac vein in 1. The average Injury Severity Score of patients with iliac vein injury was 45.8. Treatments for venous injuries were laparotomy for hemostasis (n = 1, survivors = 0), retroperitoneal gauze packing (n = 3, survivors = 1), and endovascular stent placement (n = 3, survivors = 3). Two patients suffered from cardiac arrest before treatment for venous injury. External fixations were performed after TAE according to fracture type. Conclusion: The iliac vein injury is the principal cause of hemorrhagic shock in some patients with unstable pelvic fractures after blunt trauma. Venography is useful for identifying iliac vein injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)704-710
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Blunt trauma
  • Iliac vein injury
  • Pelvic fracture
  • Venography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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