Rectus sheath hematoma (RSH) develops due to rupture of epigastric arteries or the rectus muscle. Although RSH incidence rate is low, it poses a significant diagnostic dilemma. We evaluated the risk factors for RSH, its presentation, management, and outcomes for 115 patients hospitalized with confirmed RSH by computed tomography scan between January 2005 and June 2009. More than three-fourth (77.4%) of the patients were on anticoagulation therapy, 58.3% patients had chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage ≥3, 51.3% had abdominal injections, 41.7% were on steroids/immunosuppressant therapy, 37.4% had abdominal surgery/trauma, 33.9% had cough, femoral puncture was performed in 31.3% of patients, and 29.5% were on antiplatelet therapy. Rectus sheath hematoma was not an attributable cause in any of the 17 deaths. Mortality was significantly higher in patients with CKD stage ≥3 (P = .03) or who required transfusion (P = .007). Better understanding of RSH risk factors will facilitate early diagnoses and improve management.
Keywords: anticoagulants; bleeding; heparins; renal failure.
© The Author(s) 2014.