Failure of nonoperative management of abdominal solid organ injuries

Dan A. Galvan, Andrew B. Peitzman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Nonoperative management of the spleen has been the conventional approach for dealing with blunt splenic injury in children for 25 years. Following acceptance in the field of pediatric surgery, nonoperative management of blunt injury to the liver and spleen became the template in adult trauma surgery. It has proven to be of unequivocal benefit to the majority of hemodynamically stable pediatric and adult patients who have suffered blunt liver or splenic trauma. Offsetting these gains, has been the presence of failures. RECENT FINDINGS: The recent literature has focused on factors which may impact the nonoperative management success or failure rate. These factors include initiation of guidelines, risk of overwhelming postsplenectomy infection, character of clinical judgment, role of computed tomography in detecting associated intraabdominal injuries, the presence of more than one solid organ injury, risk of associated hollow viscus injury, and the drawbacks of angioembolization. SUMMARY: Despite the failures of nonoperative management outlined in this review, the approach has been generally successful. Efforts at improving organ salvage rates and diminishing failures with this approach continue. Notwithstanding our enthusiasm to advance this method of patient care, we must avoid imperiling a subpopulation of patients in our attempt to improve nonoperative management success rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-594
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in critical care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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