Compartment Syndrome


  •  A compartment syndrome is characterised by a considerably increased tissue pressure within a muscle compartment composed of several muscles, which are surrounded by connective tissue (see schematic drawing).
  • Due to the increased pressure the microcirculation, i.e. the blood perfusion in the tissue, is disturbed.
  • The only way to avoid serious consequences like muscle and/or nervous tissue necrosis, or even the loss of whole body parts is an immediate treatment (as shown on the photos).
  • Up to now, the only objective method available for the diagnosis of a compartment syndrome is an invasive pressure measurement by means of needle injection.


Development of new reliable, non-invasive methods based on ultrasound measurements for the monitoring of imminent compartment syndromes and for the diagnosis of acute compartment syndromes.


  • Richard Sellei, Sana Klinikum Offenbach, Department of Trauma Surgical and Orthopedics
  • Chair of Medical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University



  • R.M. Sellei, A. Beckers, P. Kobbe, A. Weltzien, C.D. Weber, C.K. Spies, N. Reinhardt, M. de la Fuente, K. Radermacher & F. Hildebrand: Non-invasive assessment of muscle compartment elasticity by pressure-related ultrasound in pediatric trauma: a prospective clinical study in 25 cases of forearm shaft fractures. European Journal of Medical Research, 2023, 28(296), pp. 1-7 [DOI: 10.1186/s40001-023-01232-1]
  • R.M. Sellei, U. Warkotsch, P. Kobbe, C.D. Weber, N. Reinhardt, M. de la Fuente, K. Radermacher & F. Hildebrand: Non-invasive and reliable assessment of compartment elasticity by pressure related ultrasound: An in-vitro study. Injury, 2021, 52(4), pp. 724-730 [DOI: 10.1016/j.injury.2020.10.069]
  • R.M. Sellei, J. Wollnitz, N. Reinhardt, M. de la Fuente, K. Radermacher, C. Weber, P. Kobbe & F. Hildebrand: Non-invasive measurement of muscle compartment elasticity in lower limbs to determine acute compartment syndrome: Clinical results with pressure related ultrasound. Injury, 2020, 51, pp. 301-306 [DOI: 10.1016/j.injury.2019.11.027]
  • R.M. Sellei, S.J. Hingmann, C. Weber, S. Jeromin, F. Zimmermann, J. Turner, F. Hildebrand & H.-C. Pape: Assessment of elevated compartment pressures by pressure-related ultrasound: a cadaveric model. Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg, 2015, 41(6), pp. 639-45
  • R.M. Sellei, S.J. Hingmann, P. Kobbe, C. Weber, J.E. Grice, F. Zimmermann, S. Jeromin, F. Hildebrand & H.-C. Pape: Compartment elasticity measured by pressure-related ultrasound to determine patients "at risk" for compartment syndrome: an experimental in vitro study. Patient Safety in Surgery, 2015, 9, pp. 6
  • R.M. Sellei, A. Waehling, C.D. Weber, S. Jeromin, F. Zimmermann, P.A. McCann, F. Hildebrand & H.-C. Pape: Contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) reliably detects critical perfusion changes in compartmental muscle: a model in healthy volunteers. Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg, 2014, 40(5), pp. 535-9
  • S. Jeromin, I. Bobb, M. Hübner, F. Schmidt, K. Radermacher, H.-C. Pape & R. Sellei: A new approach for objective non-invasive diagnosis of an imminent compartment syndrome. Biomedizinische Technik, 56 (Suppl. 1), 2011
  • R.M. Sellei, S.J. Hingmann, M. de la Fuente, F. Schmidt, M. Knobe & F.U. Niethard: Ein nicht invasives, Ultraschall-gestütztes Verfahren zur frühzeitigen Diagnostik und Verlaufsbeobachtung des drohenden Kompartmentsyndroms. 57. Jahrestagung der Vereinigung Süddeutscher Orthopäden e. V., 2009
  • R.M. Sellei, S.J. Hingmann, M. Knobe, M. de la Fuente, F. Schmidt, K. Radermacher & H.C. Pape: Non Invasive Assessment of Compartment Pressures by Ultrasound: An In Vitro Mode. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on the Ultrasonic Measurement and Imaging of Tissue Elasticity, 2009, pp. 70