Characteristics and management of splenic artery aneurysm in liver transplant candidates and recipients

Gregory Heestand, Linda Sher, Johnson Lightfoote, Suzanne Palmer, Rod Mateo, Gagandeep Singh, Jennifer Moser, Rick Selby, Yuri Genyk, Nicolas Jabbour*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The incidence of splenic artery aneurysm (SAA) in patients with cirrhosis ranges from 7 per cent to 17 per cent. SAA rupture after liver transplantation (LT) is reported to result in significant morbidity and mortality. We report our experience with SAA in LT candidates. From September 1995 through August 2002, 14 LT candidates were diagnosed with SAA. Twenty SAA occurred in 14 patients with an average diameter of 20 mm. Eleven patients qualified for LT; to date, seven have been transplanted. No intervention for SAA occurred prior to LT. Of the seven patients transplanted, four had SAA identified prior to LT. Three were treated at LT and are alive; the fourth had postoperative splenic artery embolization followed by splenectomy and expired on day 109 from duodenal ulcer complications. Three of seven patients had undiagnosed SAA at LT. One required emergency splenectomy for SAA rupture and is alive at 44 months. The remaining two received no treatment; one suffered a late septic death and one is alive at 15 months. No ruptures occurred in our pre-LT population, suggesting that definitive management can await LT. We recommend that all patients undergo four-phase computed tomography or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) as part of the LT evaluation and that identified SAA be resected at transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-940
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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