This is a comparison of 3 commonly used methods for measuring intracompartmental pressure in injured limbs. The authors used a solid-state transducer intracompartmental catheter, an electronic transducer-tipped catheter, and a modification of Whiteside’s needle manometer technique using a 18-gauge needle and arterial line transducer.
The pressure was measured in 97 muscle compartments in 31 injured limbs of 26 trauma patients suspected of having compartment syndrome. The overall intraclass correlation coefficient for the three methods was 0.83 indicating only satisfactory agreement among the methods. The mean difference among methods in each compartment was 8.3 millimeters of mercury.
The results showed that the methods were similar but not completely reliable for measuring intracompartmental pressure in the extremity. It appeared all 3 of the methods were useful but not pathognomonic.