Fragment embolization is a rare phenomenon in trauma patients. Although surgical and endovascular management of vascular injuries have evolved significantly, the detection and management of fragment emboli remain a formidable challenge. We reviewed our experience with this entity from December 2001 to March 2008. During this time period, four (1.1%) of 346 US soldiers evacuated to Walter Reed with arterial or venous injuries were discovered to have suffered missile emboli. Venous emboli were treated with anticoagulation and arterial emboli were treated with standard embolectomy techniques with good result. The presentation, diagnosis, and surgical management of these cases are described.
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