Natural history and management of splanchnic artery aneurysms in a single tertiary referral center

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Abstract

Objective:

Splanchnic artery aneurysms (SAAs) are rare, and little is known about their natural history and management. We reviewed our single-center experience in managing this population of patients.

Methods:

A retrospective review of the Yale radiologic database from January 1999 to December 2016 was performed. Only patients with an SAA and a computed tomography scan of the abdomen were selected for review. Demographics of the patients, aneurysm characteristics, management, postoperative complications, and follow-up data were collected. Our primary outcomes included aneurysm growth rate and risk of rupture in those patients managed nonoperatively and morbidity and mortality of those SAA patients who underwent operative intervention.

Results:

There were 122 patients with 138 SAAs identified; 77 were male (62%), with a mean age of 66 years (range, 25-94 years). On computed tomography, 56 (45%) had previously diagnosed or concomitant aneurysms elsewhere. Of the patients managed nonoperatively, 101 patients (79%) had 108 SAAs; in the operative intervention group, 25 (21%) patients had 30 SAAs. The mean overall vessel diameter was 1.76 ± 0.83 cm. The diameter of observed and operatively repaired SAAs was 1.58 ± 0.56 cm and 2.41 ± 1.23 cm, respectively (P = .00001). Mean follow-up was 50 ± 42 months for nonoperative management without any adverse events related to SAA, including 10 patients with SAA >2.0 cm. The mean observed growth rate for SAA was 0.064 ± 0.18 cm/y. All symptomatic patients who presented with severe abdominal pain (n = 11 [44%]) underwent operative intervention. Five patients presented with a ruptured SAA (3.6%; range, 2.3-5.0 cm); all of them except one underwent operative intervention. Other indications for repair included large size in seven, rapid growth in two, other open abdominal surgical procedures in two, multiple aneurysms in one, and desire to pursue fertility treatment in one. Operative repair included 14 (56%) endovascular embolizations and 11 (44%) open abdominal operations. After endovascular embolization, two patients underwent abdominal operation for hemorrhage and splenectomy. Open repairs included bypasses in six, splenectomy in two, resection in two, and plication in one. Two patients had postoperative acute kidney injury that resolved and one died of multisystem organ failure. One bypass occluded without sequelae. On multivariable regression analysis, female sex (P = .02) was associated with faster growth rate, and a history of smoking (P = .04) was associated with slower growth rate.

Conclusions:

It seems reasonable to observe asymptomatic patients with an SAA <2.0 cm because of the slow growth rate (0.064 ± 0.18 cm/y) and benign behavior. When intervention is needed, both open and endovascular options should be considered.

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