The nonoperative management of penetrating internal jugular vein injury

Kenji Inaba, Felipe Munera, Mark G. McKenney, Luis Rivas, Edgardo Marecos, Marc De Moya, Terence O'Keeffe, Louis Pizano, Stephen Cohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to review the outcome of nonoperative treatment for penetrating internal jugular vein (IJ) injuries in a continuous series of prospectively identified, hemodynamically stable patients. Methods: All penetrating neck injuries assessed from February 1, 2004, to August 31, 2004, were prospectively identified. Patients without an indication for urgent neck exploration underwent diagnostic assessment with multislice helical computed tomographic angiography with or without vascular ultrasonography. All IJ injuries with no other indication for surgical exploration were treated nonoperatively. All patients were discharged home and followed up for a minimum of 1 week to document outcomes. Results: From 51 neck injuries penetrating the platysma, 7 required urgent neck exploration, during which 2 IJ injuries were ligated. Forty-four patients underwent multislice helical computed tomographic angiography. Eight IJ injuries (two gunshot wounds and six stab wounds) with no other indication for neck exploration were identified and managed nonoperatively. One external wound was in zone 1, five were in zone 2, one was in zone 3, and one traversed all three zones. The average length of stay was 4.5 days. At follow-up, ranging from 1 week to 5 months, all patients were asymptomatic, and no patient required delayed operation for IJ injury. Conclusions: In hemodynamically stable patients with no other indication for exploration, the nonoperative management of penetrating jugular vein injuries should be considered as a safe alternative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-80
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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