Splenic artery embolization: A single center experience on the safety, efficacy, and clinical outcomes

Ron C. Gaba, Jeremy R. Katz, Ahmad Parvinian, Steven Reich, Benedictta O. Omene, Felix Y. Yap, Charles A. Owens, M. Grace Knuttinen, James T. Bui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


PURPOSE We aimed to assess the safety, efficacy, and clinical outcomes of splenic artery embolization (SAE). MATERIALS AND METHODS A total of 50 patients (male:female, 33:17; mean age, 49 years) who underwent 50 SAEs between 1998 and 2011 were retrospectively studied. The procedure indications included aneurysm or pseudoaneurysm (n=15), gastric variceal hemorrhage (n=15), preoperative reduction of surgical blood loss (n=9), or other (n=11). In total, 22 procedures were elective, and 28 procedures were urgent or emergent. The embolic agents included coils (n=50), gelatin sponges (n=15), and particles (n=4). The measured outcomes were the technical success of the procedure, efficacy, side effects, and the 30-day morbidity and mortality rates. RESULTS All embolizations were technically successful. The procedure efficacy was 90%; five patients (10%) had a recurrent hemorrhage requiring a secondary intervention. Side effects included hydrothorax (n=26, 52%), thrombocytosis (n=16, 32%), thrombocytopenia (n=13, 26%), and postembolization syndrome (n=11, 22%). Splenic infarcts occurred in 13 patients (26%). The overall and procedure-specific 30-day morbidity rates were 38% (19/50) and 14% (splenoportal thrombosis, 3/50; encapsulated bacterial infection, 1/50; splenic abscess, 1/50; femoral hematoma requiring surgery, 1/50; hydrothorax requiring drainage, 1/50). The overall and procedurespeci fic 30-day mortality rates were 8% (4/50) and 0%. The multivariate analysis showed that advanced patient age (P = 0.037), postprocedure thrombocytopenia (P = 0.008), postprocedure hydrothorax (P = 0.009), and the need for a secondary intervention (P = 0.004) predicted the 30-day morbidity, while renal insufficiency (P < 0.0001), preprocedure hemodynamic instability (P = 0.044), and preprocedure leukocytosis (P < 0.0001) were prognostic factors for the 30-day mortality. CONCLUSION SAE was performed with high technical success and efficacy, but the outcomes showed nontrivial morbidity rates. Elderly patients with thrombocytopenia and hydrothorax after SAE, and patients who require secondary interventions, should be monitored for complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalDiagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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