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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 46

of 'Open surgical repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm'

Aortoiliac reconstruction: the retroperitoneal approach and splenic injury.
Wirth G, Moccia R, Clement Darling R 3rd, Roddy SP, Mehta M, Kramer BC, Chang BB, Kreienberg PB, Paty PS, Ozsvath KJ, Shah DM
Ann Vasc Surg. 2003 Nov;17(6):604-7. Epub 2003 Oct 20.
Exposure of the abdominal aorta through the left retroperitoneum is a well-accepted technique. Unfortunately, splenic injury is a complication of this approach that rarely occurs through a mid-line transabdominal incision. In this series we evaluate the occurrence of splenic injury during left retroperitoneal aortic surgery. The records of all patients undergoing abdominal aortic reconstruction via the left retroperitoneal approach were reviewed from 1988 to 2001. Indications included either abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) or aortoiliac occlusive disease (AIOD). Thoracoabdominal aneurysms and visceral aortic reconstructions were excluded. Those patients that required splenectomy for splenic injury were stratified and analyzed for demographics, indications for operation, and other complications. Chi-square analysis was used to determine statistical significance. Over the 13-year study period, 2889 aortic reconstructions were performed. These consisted of 1773 elective AAA repairs, 357 ruptured or symptomatic AAA repairs, and 759 aortofemoral bypasses for AIOD. Splenectomies were performed after aortic repair in 21 (0.7%) patients. Breakdown by indication totaled 11/1773 (0.6%) for elective AAA repair, 7/357 (2.0%) for rupture or symptomatic AAA repair, and 3/759 (0.4%) for AIOD ( p<0.05). Mortality for patients undergoing elective AAA without splenectomy was 1.9% (34/1762) and with splenectomy was 9.1% (1/11), while it was 3.2% (24/756) for AIOD patients without splenectomy and 14% (1/7) for AIOD patients with splenectomy (all p = NS). Splenic injury can occur in elective and emergent aortic reconstructions performed through the left retroperitoneum. The surgeon should be prepared for splenectomy whenever intraperitoneal blood or hemodynamic instability is identified. Evaluation of the spleen prior to flank closure may be prudent.
Institute for Vascular Health and Disease, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY 12208, USA.