Splenic Embolization in Liver Transplant Recipients: Early Outcomes

C. P. Chao, J. H. Nguyen, R. Paz-Fumagalli, M. K. Dougherty, A. H. Stockland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Clinical improvement has been reported following splenic embolization for a wide variety of indications. Improvement following splenic embolization has been described in cirrhotic patients awaiting hepatic transplantation who are not candidates for surgical splenectomy. Occasionally, patients who have undergone hepatic transplantation have conditions that may also benefit from nonsurgical intervention with splenic embolization. Indications include persistent hypersplenism and pancytopenia precluding optimal treatment with antiviral therapy or chemotherapy, risk for persistent gastroesophageal variceal hemorrhage, and splenic artery steal syndrome attenuating hepatic arterial perfusion. Limited data is available on the outcome of splenic embolization in liver transplant recipients. We present the early outcomes of liver transplant recipients who were treated with splenic embolization. A retrospective chart review of all liver transplant recipients who underwent splenic embolization between 1997 and 2006 was performed, under minimal-risk study approval by the institutional review board. Five liver transplant recipients received splenic embolization: 3 for persistent hypersplenism, 1 for increased risk of gastroesophageal variceal hemorrhage, and 1 for splenic artery steal syndrome. The patients with hypersplenism demonstrated hematologic improvement, the patient with gastroesophageal varices did not experience any hemorrhage on follow-up, and the patient with splenic artery steal experienced resolution of the steal phenomenon. Postembolization syndrome was observed but no splenic abscess or death occurred. Mean follow-up was 20.2 months. In conclusion, splenic embolization is a safe and effective nonsurgical alternative for a variety of indications in liver transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3194-3198
Number of pages5
JournalTransplantation proceedings
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


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