Blunt splenic injury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: To review the current care of the patient with an injured spleen. Recent Findings: The initial care of the patient with splenic injury is dictated by their hemodynamic presentation and the institution's resources. Although most high-grade injuries require splenectomy, up to 38% are successfully managed nonoperatively. Angioembolization has increased splenic salvage with a minimum of complications. In the absence of injuries that mandate longer hospital stays, patients with low-grade injuries are successfully discharged in 1-2 days and high-grade injuries in 3-4 days. Delayed splenic hemorrhage remains a feared complication, but fortunately the 180-day readmission rate for splenectomy is low with the majority of those returning within 8 days of injury. Summary: Nonoperative management (NOM) is the standard of care for the hemodynamically stable patient with an isolated blunt splenic injury. Splenic salvage can be safely increased, even in higher grade injuries, with the use of angioembolization. Patients managed nonoperatively are successfully discharged as early as 1-2 days for low-grade injuries and as early as 3-4 days for higher grade. Safe management of the patient with blunt splenic injury requires careful selection for NOM, meticulous monitoring and follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-581
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Critical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • nonoperative management
  • spleen
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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