Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta vs Pre-Peritoneal Packing in Patients with Pelvic Fracture

Samer Asmar, Letitia Bible, Mohamad Chehab, Andrew Tang, Muhammad Khurrum, Molly Douglas, Lourdes Castanon, Narong Kulvatunyou, Bellal Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Pelvic hemorrhage is potentially lethal despite homeostatic interventions such as pre-peritoneal packing (PP), resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA), surgery, and/or angioembolization. REBOA may be used as an alternative/adjunct to PP for temporizing bleeding in patients with pelvic fractures. Our study aimed to compare the outcomes of REBOA and/or PP, as temporizing measures, in blunt pelvic fracture patients. We hypothesized that REBOA is associated with worsened outcomes. Study design: We performed a 2017 review of the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program (ACS-TQIP) and identified trauma patients with blunt pelvic fractures who underwent REBOA placement and/or PP before laparotomy and/or angioembolization. Propensity score matching was performed, adjusting for demographics, vitals, mechanism of injury, ISS, each body region-AIS, and pelvic fracture type. Outcomes were complication rates and mortality. Results: A total of 156 patients (PP: 52; REBOA: 52; REBOA+PP: 52) were matched and included. Mean age was 43 ± 18 years, Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 28 (range 17–32), and 74% were males. Overall mortality was 42%. The 24-hour mortality (25% vs 14% vs 35%; p = 0.042), in-hospital mortality (44% vs 29% vs 54%; p = 0.034), and 4-hour pRBC units transfused (15 [9–23] vs 10 [4–19] vs 16 [9–27]; p = 0.017) were lower in the REBOA group. The REBOA group had faster times to both laparotomy (p = 0.040) and/or angioembolization (p = 0.012). There was no difference between the groups in acute kidney injury, lower limb amputations, or hospital and ICU length of stay among survivors. Conclusions: REBOA is a less invasive procedure compared with PP and is associated with improved outcomes. Further clinical trials are needed to define the optimal patient who will benefit from REBOA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-26.e2
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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