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Scand J Surg. 2007;96(1):67-71.

Emergency room arteriography: an updated digital technology.

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Department of Surgery, University of Calgary, Foothills Hospital, Calgary, Canada.



Emergency room arteriography (ERA) is a safe, accurate, simple and cost-effective method of defining arterial injuries. Limitations include the difficulty of evaluating limb vasculature distal to the suspected site of injury. Statscan is a novel, low-dose digital X-ray machine that can rapidly obtain a whole body image in a single scan. Our goal was to evaluate the role of Statscan technology in ERA.


A 24 month retrospective review of all patients who underwent a Statscan assisted ERA at the Groote Schuur Hospital Trauma Unit was completed. Indications for ERA included a hemodynamically stable patient with hard signs of a vascular injury in conjunction with the clinical assessment of a threatened limb. Contraindications encompassed instability, massive bleeding or a rapidly expanding hematoma.


Ten patients underwent Statscan assisted ERA of their lower limbs. Eight had cold, pulseless limbs with impaired neurological examinations. Common femoral, superficial femoral and popliteal artery lacerations were displayed. Three patients had no identifiable injury and were observed. Seven patients underwent operative management for threatened limbs. Two had Statscan evidence of arterial emboli distal to the site of injury leading to further exploration and distal embolectomy.


Statscan ERA is safe, rapid, simple and accurate. It has the advantage of providing arteriography distal to the site of injury. This directly altered patient care in 20% of cases, primarily by detecting distal arterial emboli. Thirty percent of patients with normal ERA also avoided an unnecessary operation. This study demonstrates a new role for Statscan technology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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