Diagnosing Acute Compartment Syndrome – where have we got to?

Tristan E McMillan, William Timothy Gardner (Corresponding Author), Andrew H Schmidt, Alan J Johnstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose
Acute compartment syndrome is a condition whereby tissue ischaemia occurs due to increased pressure in a closed myofascial compartment. It is a surgical emergency, with rapid recognition and treatment—the keys to good outcomes.

Methods
The available literature on diagnostic aids was reviewed by one of the senior authors 15 years ago. Now, we have further reviewed the literature, to aim to ascertain what progress has been made.

Results
In this review, we present the evidence around a variety of available diagnostic options when investigating a potential case of acute compartment syndrome, including those looking at pressure changes, localised oxygenation, perfusion, metabolic changes and available blood serum biomarkers.

Conclusions
A significant amount of work has been put into developing modalities of diagnosis for acute compartment syndrome in the last 15 years. There is a lot of promising outcomes being reported; however, there is yet to be any conclusive evidence to suggest that they should be used over intracompartmental pressure measurement, which remains the gold standard. However, clinicians should be cognizant that compartment pressure monitoring lacks diagnostic specificity, and could lead to unnecessary fasciotomy when used as the sole criterion for diagnosis. Therefore, pressure monitoring is ideally used in situations where clinical suspicion is raised.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Orthopaedics
Early online date29 Aug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Aug 2019

Fingerprint

Compartment Syndromes
Pressure
Emergencies
Ischemia
Perfusion
Biomarkers
Serum

Keywords

  • Compartment syndrome
  • Ischaemia
  • Trauma
  • Investigation
  • Diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this

Diagnosing Acute Compartment Syndrome – where have we got to? / McMillan, Tristan E; Gardner, William Timothy (Corresponding Author); Schmidt, Andrew H; Johnstone, Alan J.

In: International Orthopaedics, 29.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

McMillan, Tristan E ; Gardner, William Timothy ; Schmidt, Andrew H ; Johnstone, Alan J. / Diagnosing Acute Compartment Syndrome – where have we got to?. In: International Orthopaedics. 2019.
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