Decision-making and therapeutic options in intact splenic artery aneurysms: single-center experience and literature review

Int Angiol. 2020 Jun;39(3):241-251. doi: 10.23736/S0392-9590.20.04304-7. Epub 2020 Feb 13.


Background: Splenic artery aneurysms are rare, potentially serious, and usually asymptomatic. Several methods are currently available to treat them, each with their own advantages and drawbacks. Therefore, its therapeutic paradigm has changed.

Methods: We review our database of splenic aneurysms (2009-2019) and undertake an exhaustive literature review. Demographic, clinical, diagnostic, therapeutic, early and follow-up outcome data were examined. Our experience comprised: 15 patients with 19 splenic aneurysms. 11 women (average age, 59.4 years) and 4 men (average age, 61.7 years). All asymptomatic.

Results: At diagnosis, aneurysms had a mean cross-sectional diameter of 3.4 cm (3.2 and 3.9 for women and men, respectively), the largest measuring 8.5 cm. Two independent aneurysms were detected in four patients. Diagnoses were always incidental to a CT scan. Treatments consisted of open surgery (2 patients), endovascular surgery (10 patients: 7 embolizations, 3 covered stent) and observation/follow-up (3 patients). The cases of open surgery (with splenectomy) were carried out without postoperative morbidity. One embolization failed (requiring subsequent open surgery) and two suffered localized splenic infarction, but without further complications. In patients treated with a covered stent, the aneurysm was always excluded, without complications. There was no 30-day or follow-up (average 26.2 months) mortality. Splenic aneurysms are diagnosed more frequently and earlier (in the asymptomatic phase), albeit incidentally, than in the past.

Conclusions: The correct indication (identifying patients at risk) and individualization of treatment, in which endovascular techniques are the first-line option, have significantly improved morbidity and mortality outcomes in our hospital.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm / surgery
  • Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / adverse effects*
  • Endovascular Procedures / adverse effects
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / adverse effects
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy
  • Review Literature as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Spain
  • Splenectomy
  • Splenic Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Splenic Artery / surgery*
  • Stents / adverse effects*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome