Splenic embolization in trauma: results of a survey from an international cohort

Alessandro Gasparetto, David Hunter, Marc Sapoval, Sandeep Sharma, Jafar Golzarian

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1 Scopus citations


Purpose: A questionnaire regarding splenic embolization in trauma was submitted to an international sample of IR faculty members, to compare their practice to the available recommendations. Methods: A 21 multiple-choice questionnaire was sent to an international cohort of 96 IR faculty. Questions included the initial patient evaluation, embolization materials and techniques, post-procedure management, availability of an institutional protocol, and use of guidelines. Results: For each question, there were from a minimum of 45 to a maximum of 52 responders: 94% require a CT with contrast prior to embolization, and 87% use the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) scale to grade the splenic injuries. Embolization is performed across all values of the AAST scale. Of the patients with injuries of grade III or greater, embolization is primarily done for those patients who are hemodynamically stable. Unstable patients are embolized less frequently and primarily in cases in which the injuries are of a lower grade. Coils are the preferred material for proximal embolization (69%). Particles/Gelfoam is the preferred material for distal embolization (38%). In total, 63% administer intravenous antibiotics before the procedure and 15% administer intra-arterial antibiotics during the procedure. After embolization, follow-up imaging is recommended by 87%, antibiotics are administered regularly by 33%, clinical follow-up is recommended by 73%, and vaccination against encapsulated organisms is routinely recommended by 39%. Conclusions: There is significant variability among a heterogeneous cohort of respondents. Available recommendations may not be sufficiently addressing the practice of splenic embolization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-963
Number of pages9
JournalEmergency Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, American Society of Emergency Radiology.


  • Embolization
  • Spleen
  • Trauma


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