Objective: Purpose of this study was to monitor changes of microcirculation in acute compartment syndrome using contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) and to assess the modified perfusion with a special quantification software. Methods: 8 patients with trauma of the lower limb or the upper extremity were enrolled after acute compartment syndrome was diagnosed clinically and by intracompartmental pressure measurement. The qualitative analysis of the corresponding compartment was assessed using B-scan mode and CEUS simultaneously. CEUS was performed using a multifrequence probe (6–9 MHz, LOGIQ E9 GE) after a i.v. bolus injection of 2 × 2.4 ml contrast agent (SonoVue ® , Bracco, Italy). Digital raw data were stored as cine loops up to 2 minutes. Retrospectively semiquantitative perfusion analysis was performed using time intensity curve analysis and the quantification software QONTRAST ® . Results: 6 out of 8 patients had to be operated due to clinical symptoms and to a pressure perfusion gradient lower than 30 mm Hg. 2 out of 8 were treated conservatively. In all patients haematomas were seen in B-scan mode. No necrosis could be detected. In the TIC analysis low levels of time to peak (20.0 ± 12.1) and area under the curve (118.4 ± 87.8) were observed in acute compartment syndrome. Similarly results have been obtained using the perfusions parameter PEAK (11.1 ± 5.7), time to PEAK (14.7 ± 9.7), regional blood volume (257.1 ± 192.6), and regional blood flow (12.1 ± 6.5) in QONTRAST ® perfusion software. Conclusion: CEUS may be capable of differing between acute compartment syndrome and imminent compartment syndrome.
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