Intramuscular pressures with limb compression. Clarification of the pathogenesis of the drug-induced muscle-compartment syndrome

C. A. Owen, S. J. Mubarak, A. R. Hargens, L. Rutherford, L. P. Garetto, W. H. Akeson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

121 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To study muscle necrosis due to prolonged limb compression, the authors measured intramuscular pressure by inserting wick catheters into 10 volar forearms and 10 anterior tibial compartments of adult volunteers. They then placed the subjects in positions in which victims of drug overdose are commonly found. Intramuscular pressures in the area of direct compression on hard surfaces ranged from 26 to 240 mm Hg, and averaged 101 mm Hg. Most remarkable was a mean pressure of 180 mm Hg on compression of the forearm by the rib cage. These pressures are sufficient to cause muscle and capillary ischemia and necrosis by local obstruction of the circulation. This local injury by limb compression may produce edema sufficient to start compartment tamponade and consequent muscle-compartment and crush syndromes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1169-1172
Number of pages4
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Volume300
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes

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Compartment Syndromes
Extremities
Pressure
Muscles
Forearm
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Necrosis
Crush Syndrome
Capillary Action
Drug Overdose
Volunteers
Edema
Ischemia
Catheters
Wounds and Injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Owen, C. A., Mubarak, S. J., Hargens, A. R., Rutherford, L., Garetto, L. P., & Akeson, W. H. (1979). Intramuscular pressures with limb compression. Clarification of the pathogenesis of the drug-induced muscle-compartment syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine, 300(21), 1169-1172.

Intramuscular pressures with limb compression. Clarification of the pathogenesis of the drug-induced muscle-compartment syndrome. / Owen, C. A.; Mubarak, S. J.; Hargens, A. R.; Rutherford, L.; Garetto, L. P.; Akeson, W. H.

In: New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 300, No. 21, 1979, p. 1169-1172.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Owen, CA, Mubarak, SJ, Hargens, AR, Rutherford, L, Garetto, LP & Akeson, WH 1979, 'Intramuscular pressures with limb compression. Clarification of the pathogenesis of the drug-induced muscle-compartment syndrome', New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 300, no. 21, pp. 1169-1172.
Owen, C. A. ; Mubarak, S. J. ; Hargens, A. R. ; Rutherford, L. ; Garetto, L. P. ; Akeson, W. H. / Intramuscular pressures with limb compression. Clarification of the pathogenesis of the drug-induced muscle-compartment syndrome. In: New England Journal of Medicine. 1979 ; Vol. 300, No. 21. pp. 1169-1172.
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