Role of Doppler Sonography in Early Detection of Splenic Steal Syndrome

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Abstract

Objectives

To retrospectively investigate the role of Doppler sonography in the early detection of splenic steal syndrome.

Methods

Fifty cases of splenic steal syndrome after orthotopic liver transplantation were identified. A control group was matched to the splenic steal syndrome group. Information was collected about the clinical presentation, liver enzyme levels, Doppler sonographic results, and follow-up after patients underwent splenic artery embolization.

Results

A persistent hepatic arterial diastolic reversal waveform was observed in 25 patients with splenic steal syndrome versus 0 control patients. The mean hepatic arterial resistive index (RI) values ± SD were 0.95 ± 0.09 in patients with splenic steal syndrome and 0.80 ± 0.10 in control patients (P < .0001). One week after orthotopic liver transplantation, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the RI was 0.884 (95% confidence interval, 0.793–0.975; P = .001) for splenic steal syndrome diagnosis. After splenic artery embolization, there was normalization of the reversal waveform, with an average RI of 0.77 ± 0.11 (P < .0001).

Conclusions

Dynamic changes in the hepatic arterial waveform and RI are keys to detecting splenic steal syndrome with Doppler sonography.

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