Acute hand ischemia after radial artery cannulation resulting in amputation

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“In this case report, a patient who developed a severely ischemic left hand subsequent to radial artery cannulation is presented. Doppler ultrasound studies showed adequate flow in the patient’s hand, however complete thrombosis of the radial artery and significant low flow of the ulnar artery were found using arterial angiogram.” Türker and Capdarest-Arest (2014).

Reference:

Türker, T. and Capdarest-Arest, N. (2014) Acute hand ischemia after radial artery cannulation resulting in amputation. Chirurgie de la Main. May 27th. [epub ahead of print].

Abstract:

Although radial artery cannulation is a common procedure, in rare cases, it can cause thrombosis leading to severe ischemia of the hand and potentially subsequent gangrene resulting in tissue loss. In this case report, a patient who developed a severely ischemic left hand subsequent to radial artery cannulation is presented. Doppler ultrasound studies showed adequate flow in the patient’s hand, however complete thrombosis of the radial artery and significant low flow of the ulnar artery were found using arterial angiogram. The ischemia progressed and surgical intervention to revascularize the hand was unsuccessful, which led to the ultimate amputation of the patient’s hand. In cases such as these, where Doppler ultrasound findings show flow but the hand ischemia continues to progress, further diagnostic studies and surgical intervention should be performed as soon as possible to minimize the amount of tissue loss.

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