Color Doppler sonographic appearance of patent needle tracts after femoral arterial catheterization.
PURPOSE: To determine the color Doppler sonographic characteristics and clinical relevance of persistent needle tracts after femoral arterial puncture. MATERIALS AND METHODS: After diagnostic (n = 18,825) or interventional (n = 8,489) cardiac catheterization, 1,327 color Doppler sonograms of the groin were obtained over a 54-month period. Gray-scale images, color flow images, pulsed Doppler spectra, and clinical records were evaluated. RESULTS: Twenty-one cases of linear tracts of pulsatile color flow were identified with accompanying Doppler waveform analysis. The mean length and width of the tracts were 21.6 mm (range, 6-33 mm) and 2.7 mm (range, 1-5 mm), respectively. Doppler analysis revealed monophasic flow only in systole in seven cases, triphasic flow in seven cases, and monophasic flow in systole with continued forward flow during diastole in seven cases. No tract required surgical repair. CONCLUSION: Color Doppler sonography of the groin after femoral arterial catheterization may demonstrate a linear tract of color flow that corresponds to the expected path of the needle. These tracts do not seem to be clinically important and do not require further color Doppler imaging when they represent isolated findings.
O'Malley, CM; Paulson, EK; Kliewer, MA; Tcheng, JE; Hertzberg, BS; Carroll, BA
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