Background Angioembolization is an effective adjunct to the management of blunt splenic injuries (BSI) that are not surgically treated. However, in some cases patients are unable to undergo angioembolization due to changes in their hemodynamic condition. In this study we attempt to define the characteristics of patients who need angioembolization in high-grade BSI. Methods We retrospectively reviewed the charts of patients with BSI between January 2004 and June 2008. Patients with contrast extravasation (CE) on computed tomography (CT) scan were enrolled. The demographics, Injury Severity Score (ISS), Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS), the amount of blood transfused, and the type of CE were analyzed. Results A total of 69 patients were enrolled. Patients with intraperitoneal CE in BSI required a higher rate of immediate operation due to changed hemodynamics. Furthermore, these patients displayed higher ISS and higher blood transfusion amounts. Conclusions In BSI patients, intraperitoneal CE is associated with a higher possibility of requiring surgical intervention. Early surgical intervention should be considered in BSI patients with intraperitoneal CE or with ISS ≤ 25.
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