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Duncan AO, Scalea TM, Sclafani SJ, Phillips TF, Bryan D, Atweh NA, Vieux EE. J. Trauma 1989; 29(7): 955-9; discussion 959-60.


Kings County Hospital Center, Department of Surgery, Brooklyn, NY.


(Copyright © 1989, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)






During 1987, we performed diagnostic subxiphoid pericardial windows on all stable patients with juxta-cardiac penetrating injuries. This excluded any patient with clinically diagnosed tamponade or shock. Fifty-one patients underwent subxiphoid diagnostic pericardiotomy for suspected cardiac injuries. Forty patients were normotensive on presentation and 11 experienced transient hypotension. All patients were easily resuscitated in the Emergency Department. The time from admission to operation ranged from 20 minutes to 6 hours (average, 2.5 hours). Twelve patients (23.5%) had hemopericardium at the time of subxiphoid diagnostic pericardiotomy (SDP), and cardiac injury was confirmed at sternotomy in all. Two patients (16%) in the positive group were admitted with systolic blood pressures less than 100 mm Hg compared to nine (23%) in the negative group. One patient had a systolic to diastolic pressure gradient less than 30. Central venous pressures in this group of patients ranged from 8 to 23 cm H2O. Nine patients who had pericardial window solely on the basis of location of the injury had positive findings. All nine patients were normotensive on admission, had CVP's less than 12, and had no other overt clinical signs of injury. This represents an overall occult injury rate of 17.6%. At sternotomy, there were eight ventricular, two pulmonary artery, one aortic root, and one atrial injury, all repaired. Two patients in this group had associated abdominal injuries as did 11 in the negative group, all of whom required operation, and may have explained the hypotension in negative patients. There were no complications of SDP and all negative patients were discharged on the second hospital day.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Language: en


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