Splenic artery embolization (SAE) is a staple adjunct in the management of blunt splenic trauma. We examined complications of SAE over an 11-year period. Methods
Patients who underwent SAE were identified. Demographic data and the location of the SAE—proximal, distal, or combined—were noted. Major and minor complications were identified. Results
Of 1,383 patients with blunt splenic trauma, 298 (21.5%) underwent operative management, and 1,085 (78.5%) underwent nonoperative management (NOM). SAE was performed in 8.1% of the NOM group. Major complications which occurred in 14% of patients, included splenic abscesses, infarction, cysts, and contrast-induced renal insufficiency. Three-fourths of patients with major complications underwent distal embolization. There were more complications in patients who underwent distal embolization (24% distal vs 6% proximal alone; P = .02). Minor complications, which occurred in 34% of patients, included left-sided pleural effusions, coil migration, and fever. Conclusions
SAE is a useful tool for managing splenic injuries. Major and minor complications can occur. Distal embolization is associated with more major complications.
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