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The slit catheter, a new instrument for the measurement of compartment pressure, has been compared with the wick catheter in experimental conditions. The two catheters were inserted into the anterior tibial compartments of 8 human legs and controlled external pressures were applied by means of an inflatable limb bag. The mean resting intramuscular pressure of 8.5 ± 6.2 mmHg for the slit and 8.7 mmHg ± 6.2 mmHg for the wick catheter agrees with that of other workers, and the slit catheter records a pressure at all applied external pressures not significantly different from the wick catheter (paired t test).
The slit catheter provides a simple and inexpensive way of estimating compartment pressure which is as accurate as a method widely used both experimentally and clinically in North America.
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