Background Interventional angiography has been used as a less invasive alternative to surgery to control hemorrhage resulting from trauma. This retrospective study analyzed the role of interventional radiology in patients requiring damage control laparotomy.Methods Twenty patients underwent damage control laparotomy between January 1994 and May 2001. Eight of the 20 patients also underwent angiographic evaluation and treatment before or after the damage control laparotomy.Results Three patients underwent angiography before damage control laparotomy, because a large, pelvic retroperitoneal hematoma was seen on computed tomographic scan, and the amount of intraperitoneal blood seemed insufficient to account for the magnitude of the patient’s hemodynamic instability. Five patients underwent angiography after damage control laparotomy. The indication was a nonexpanding retroperitoneal hematoma in three patients, a nonexpanding hepatic hilar hematoma in one patient, and a hepatic injury associated with cirrhosis in one patient. Lumbar artery injuries were identified and treated by embolization in three patients. Four of the eight patients who underwent both damage control laparotomy and angiography survived.Conclusion Angiography before damage control laparotomy may be indicated to control retroperitoneal pelvic hemorrhage in hemodynamically unstable patients who have insufficient intraperitoneal blood loss to account for their hemodynamic instability. Angiography after damage control laparotomy should be considered when a nonexpanding, inaccessible hematoma is found at operation in a patient with a coagulopathy.
- Damage control
- Interventional radiology
- Transcatheter arterial embolization