Splenic arterial interventions: anatomy, indications, technical considerations, and potential complications

Radiographics. 2005 Oct;25 Suppl 1:S191-211. doi: 10.1148/rg.25si055504.


Splenic arterial interventions are increasingly performed to treat various clinical conditions, including abdominal trauma, hypersplenism, splenic arterial aneurysm, portal hypertension, and splenic neoplasm. When clinically appropriate, these procedures may provide an alternative to open surgery. They may help to salvage splenic function in patients with posttraumatic injuries or hypersplenism and to improve hematologic parameters in those who otherwise would be unable to undergo high-dose chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapy. Splenic arterial interventions also may be performed to exclude splenic artery aneurysms from the parent vessel lumen and prevent aneurysm rupture; to reduce portal pressure and prevent sequelae in patients with portal hypertension; to treat splenic artery steal syndrome and improve liver perfusion in liver transplant recipients; and to administer targeted treatment to areas of neoplastic disease in the splenic parenchyma. As the use of splenic arterial interventions increases in interventional radiology practice, clinicians must be familiar with the splenic vascular anatomy, the indications and contraindications for performing interventional procedures, the technical considerations involved, and the potential use of other interventional procedures, such as radiofrequency ablation, in combination with splenic arterial interventions. Familiarity with the complications that can result from these interventional procedures, including abscess formation and pancreatitis, also is important.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aneurysm / therapy
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spleen / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spleen / injuries*
  • Splenic Artery*
  • Splenic Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Splenic Diseases / therapy*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed