Feasibility of endovascular repair of splenic artery aneurysms using stent grafts

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Abstract

Objective:

Percutaneous transcatheter embolization of splenic artery aneurysms (SAAs) has been widely accepted as the first line of treatment in patients with symptoms, rupture, or large aneurysm size. Although embolization can usually be performed safely, ischemic complications, such as splenic infarct or abscess, occur in some patients. This study evaluated the feasibility and outcomes of endovascular SAA repair (ESAAR) using stent grafts, which may allow treatment while preserving flow to the spleen.

Methods:

We reviewed the clinical data of all consecutive patients who underwent ESAAR using stent grafts. Brachial access was used except for patients with favorable angle of origin from the aorta. To overcome tortuosity and provide support, a coaxial system with a hydrophilic sheath was used. Low-profile 0.018-inch stent grafts were used for distal SAAs with a 10-mm to 15-mm length of proximal and distal segment of splenic artery measuring 4 to 11 mm in diameter. Follow-up included clinical examination and computed tomography imaging within 4 to 6 months after the procedure and yearly thereafter. End points were morbidity, stent graft patency, and freedom from endoleaks and reinterventions.

Results:

ESAAR was attempted in 10 patients, four males and six females, with median age of 64 years (range, 48-77 years). Median SAA size was 2.8 cm (range, 2-5.7 cm). Nine patients were asymptomatic, and one had pancreatitis and gastrointestinal bleeding. The arterial access site was the brachial artery in six patients and the femoral artery in four. Two patients had brachial and femoral access to facilitate splenic artery stenting. Technical success of ESAAR using stent grafts was 80% (8 of 10). In two patients with distal SAAs, stent graft placement was not possible due to excessive vessel tortuosity, and treatment was by coil embolization. One patient developed brachial artery thrombosis, which was treated surgically. There were no ischemic complications in patients treated by ESAAR with stent grafts. Median length of stay was 1 day. One patient treated by coil embolization developed splenic infarct, which required readmission for pain control. Median follow-up was 9 months. Follow-up imaging in all successfully stented patients revealed patent stent grafts, no endoleak, and no aneurysm sac enlargement. No reinterventions were required.

Conclusions:

ESAAR using self-expandable stent grafts offers a viable alternative to coil embolization in selected patients with SAAs. Distal SAAs with excessive vessel tortuosity may result in technical failure requiring embolization. Among patients who underwent successful ESAAR, there were no ischemic complications, stent graft occlusions, endoleaks, or sac enlargement.

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