Background: Non-operative management (NOM) is the standard of care in hemodynamically stable patients with blunt splenic injury after trauma. Splenic artery embolization (SAE) is reported to increase observation success rate. Studies demonstrating improved splenic salvage rates with SAE primarily compared SAE with historical controls. The aim of this study was to investigate whether SAE improves success rate compared to observation alone in contemporaneous patients with blunt splenic injury. Methods: We included adult patients with blunt splenic injury admitted to five Level 1 Trauma Centers between January 2009 and December 2012 and selected for NOM. Successful treatment was defined as splenic salvage and no splenic re-intervention. We calculated propensity scores, expressing the probability of undergoing SAE, using multivariable logistic regression and created five strata based on the quintiles of the propensity score distribution. A weighted relative risk (RR) was calculated across strata to express the chances of success with SAE. Results: Two hundred and six patients were included in the study. Treatment was successful in 180 patients: 134/146 (92 %) patients treated with observation and 48/57 (84 %) patients treated with SAE. The weighted RR for success with SAE was 1.17 (0.94-1.45); for complications, the weighted RR was 0.71 (0.41-1.22). The mean number of transfused blood products was 4.4 (SD 9.9) in the observation group versus 9.1 (SD 17.2) in the SAE group. Conclusions: After correction for confounders with propensity score stratification technique, there was no significant difference between embolization and observation alone with regard to successful treatment in patients with blunt splenic injury after trauma.

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Surgery and Traumatology
World Journal of Surgery
Department of Surgery

Olthof, D. C., Joosse, P., Bossuyt, P., de Rooij, P., Leenen, L., Wendt, K., … Goslings, C. (2016). Observation Versus Embolization in Patients with Blunt Splenic Injury after Trauma: A Propensity Score Analysis. World Journal of Surgery, 40(5), 1264–1271. doi:10.1007/s00268-015-3387-8