Nonoperative management of traumatic splenic hemorrhage includes the targeted administration of embolic agents. In certain instances where computed tomography angiography cannot exclude a bleed, prophylactic embolization with absorbable gelatin sponge has been used. In this retrospective case series review, we characterized the demographic data and clinical outcomes associated with 4 patients who underwent prophylactic transarterial splenic artery embolization after blunt abdominal trauma. Embolization was employed in cases where computed tomography angiography findings suggested at least a moderate splenic injury, and simultaneously where hemorrhage was not apparent during fluoroscopic angiography. Periprocedural hemodynamic status, technical success, and postoperative complications are discussed. The goal of this report was to discuss the safety and efficacy of prophylactic gelatin sponge embolization for occult splenic hemorrhage. In cases where a hemorrhagic site might be occult, this approach has the potential to minimize bleeding complications and the need for further intervention.
Keywords: Angiography; Interventional radiology; Nonoperative management; Prophylactic embolization; Spleen; Trauma.