Prevalence and predictive factors for development of splenic artery aneurysms in cirrhosis

Indian J Gastroenterol. 2016 May;35(3):201-6. doi: 10.1007/s12664-016-0670-z. Epub 2016 Jun 3.


Background and aims: Splenic artery aneurysm (SAA) rarely occurs in the general population. Its increased incidence has been reported in cirrhosis. The aim of this retrospective study was to identify prevalence and predictive factor development of SAA in patients with cirrhosis.

Methods: All patients with cirrhosis who were treated in our clinics between 2010 and 2014 were included in the study. Demographic features and clinical and laboratory findings were reviewed. Four-phase computerized tomography (CT) was used for identifying SAA. Imaging was reviewed for the presence of SAA as well as hepatic artery, portal vein, splenic artery, splenic vein, liver parenchyma, and intraabdominal cavity were evaluated.

Results: A total of 171 patients (age 55±13.9, 109 men) were included in the study. There was SAA in 27 (15.7 %) patients. Mean diameter of aneurysm was 11.66 (range, 6.06-27.1) mm. Aneurysm was located in the distal part of splenic artery in 20 (74 %) patients and solitary in 24 (88.8 %), and asymptomatic in all patients. Patients with SAA had larger portal vein and splenic vein compared to patients without SAA (15.3±3.9 vs. 13.1±2.9 mm, p=0.001; and 12.5±4.4 vs. 9.6±2.7 mm, p<0.001, respectively). We identified positive correlation between development of SAA and splenic vein diameter [hazard ratio (HR) =1.23; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.97-1.57; p = 0.009] and negative correlation between hepatic artery diameter and development of SAA HR = 0.46; 95 % CI 0.25-0.85; p = 0.002).

Conclusion: SAA occurred in a significant proportion of patients with cirrhosis, and enlargement of the splenic vein seemed to be a predictive factor for the development of SAA.

Keywords: Cirrhosis; Splenic artery aneurysm; Splenic system.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm / epidemiology*
  • Aneurysm / etiology*
  • Dilatation, Pathologic
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Splenic Artery* / diagnostic imaging
  • Splenic Vein / diagnostic imaging
  • Splenic Vein / pathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed