July 1990

Nonoperative Management of the Adult Ruptured Spleen

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Villalba, Howells, Lucas, Glover, Bendick, and Tran) and Radiology (Dr Jafri), William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich.

Arch Surg. 1990;125(7):836-839. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410190028004

• The risk of postsplenectomy sepsis has led to increased enthusiasm for preservation of the spleen. From January 1984 to December 1988, 51 consecutive adult patients with ruptured spleen sustained from blunt trauma were examined. Thirty-four patients (67%) had their conditions hemodynamically stabilized at the time of hospital admission and were placed on a regimen of strict bed rest with intensive monitoring. The average hemoglobin value at hospital admission in this group was 126± 18 g/L, with an average drop of 17 ±14 g/L during their hospitalization; 14 patients required transfusions averaging 3 U each. Nonoperative treatment was successful in 33 (97%) of 34 patients; one patient whose condition deteriorated clinically underwent splenectomy on the fifth hospital day. These patients have been followed up for an average of 28 months with no sequelae from their splenic injury. We conclude that a nonoperative approach is a viable alternative in stable adult patients with splenic injuries due to blunt trauma when intensive monitoring is available.

(Arch Surg. 1990;125:836-839)