Spontaneous splanchnic dissection: application and timing of therapeutic options.J Vasc Surg. 2009 Sep; 50(3):557-63.JV
Spontaneous splanchnic dissection (SSD) occurs infrequently and has a poorly defined natural history. Few studies address the application, timing, and consequences of therapeutic options. Our goal was to apply conservative (non-operative) management in the care of each patient, reserving interventions for specific indications that may be predictive of adverse outcomes.
Between 2003 and 2008, 10 consecutive patients (mean age 54.7-years-old, 70.0% male) presented with 11 SSDs involving either the celiac artery (n = 6), superior mesenteric artery (n = 3), or both (n = 1). Each patient had acute, spontaneous onset of persistent abdominal pain and was diagnosed with SSD following multidetector row computed tomographic angiography (CTA). Non-operative management (anticoagulation, anti-impulse therapy, analgesics, and serial CTA examinations) was initially used in 9 patients. Endovascular (n = 2) or operative (n = 2) intervention was performed either immediately (n = 1) or following failed medical management (n = 3) in 4 patients for specific indications that included persistent symptoms (n = 3), expansion of false lumen (n = 3), and/or radiologic malperfusion (n = 3).
All patients were asymptomatic after successful non-operative management or following intervention. No morbidity occurred. Upon complete follow-up (mean 13.4 months, range, 2 to 36 months), all patients remained asymptomatic. Preservation of distal perfusion with either thrombosis or ongoing regression of false lumen was achieved in 5 patients who received only non-operative management and in 4 patients following intervention. A stable chronic dissection was present in 1 patient who had only non-operative management.
Successful outcomes following SSD may be achieved with either non-operative therapy alone or intervention if persistent symptoms, expansion of false lumen, and/or malperfusion occur. The unpredictable response of the false lumen to conservative management mandates close, long-term follow-up. Endovascular and operative interventions produced similar outcomes in a small number of patients with limited follow-up. Although SSD is currently perceived as rare, the increasing use of CTA may prove that the true incidence has been underestimated.