Penetrating Neck Trauma: Review of 192 Cases


1 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran

2 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, IR Iran

3 Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran



The neck region contains a high density of vital organ structures within a relatively small and unprotected anatomic region, making it one of the most vulnerable areas of the body for all types of injuries.

In this article, we studied penetrating neck trauma cases in Alzahra Hospital over a 10-year period.

Patients and Methods
In this retrospective, descriptive, analytical study, penetrating neck trauma cases admitted to Alzahra Hospital between April 2000 and April 2010 were analyzed for epidemiology, mechanism of trauma, zone of trauma, therapeutic method, injuries to other organs, complications, and mortality.

Among 192 penetrating neck injuries, the mean age at the time of injury was 25.08 ± 15.02 years. Of these cases, 96.4% percent occurred in men. The most common mechanisms of trauma was stab wounds (85.93%). In 56.3% of penetrating neck injuries, zone 2 was involved. Neck exploration was positive in 84.4% of cases, and 52.1% of patients underwent surgery. Vascular exploration was the most common cause of surgery (67.2% of patients). The most common surgical intervention was vein ligation (50.8% of cases). In 11.98% of cases, another organ injury occurred simultaneously, and chest injury was the most common coexisting problem (65.2%). Complications were reported in 9.3% of patients, and the need for intubation was the most common complication (5.2% of patients). Mortality rate was 1.5%.

According to the findings of this study, the most common cause of penetrating neck injuries was stab wounds, and the majority of patients were young men, therefore, preventive measures should be implemented. Because of fatal complications associated with neck injuries, we recommend early neck exploration in unstable cases or when injuries are deeper than the platysma.