Objective Focal junctional tourniquets (JTs) have been developed to control hemorrhage from proximal limb injuries. These devices may permit greater collateral perfusion than circumferential tourniquets. We hypothesized that JTs eliminate large-vessel pulse pressure yet allow a small amount of residual limb perfusion that could be useful for maintaining tissue viability. Methods Ten healthy control subjects were studied. Transthoracic echocardiography, Doppler ultrasound of the femoral artery (FA) and posterior tibial artery, and contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEU) perfusion imaging of the anterior thigh extensor and calf plantar flexor muscles were performed at baseline and during application of a JT over the common FA. Intramuscular arterial pulsatility index was also measured from CEU intensity variation during the cardiac cycle. Results FA flow was eliminated by JTs in all subjects; posterior tibial flow was eliminated in all but one. Perfusion measured in the thigh and calf muscles was similar at baseline (0.33 ± 0.29 vs 0.29 ± 0.22 mL/min/g). Application of the JT resulted in a reduction of perfusion (P <.05) that was similar for the thigh and calf (0.08 ± 0.07 and 0.10 ± 0.03 mL/min/g). On CEU, microvascular flux rate was reduced by ≈55%, and functional microvascular blood volume was reduced by ≈35%. Arterial pulsatility index was reduced by ≈90% in the calf. JT inflation did not alter left ventricle dimensions, fractional shortening, cardiac output, or arterial elastance as a measure of total systolic load. Conclusions Application of a JT eliminates conduit arterial pulse and markedly reduces intramuscular pulse pressure, but thigh and calf skeletal muscle perfusion is maintained at 25% to 35% of basal levels. These data suggest that JTs that are used to control limb hemorrhage allow residual tissue perfusion even when pulse pressure is absent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine