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Eur J Radiol. 2004 Mar;49(3):268-73.

Partial splenic embolization in patients with idiopathic portal hypertension.

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiology and Radiotherapy, University 'Federico II', 5, Via Pansini, 80131 Naples, Italy. maurizio.romano@ibb.cnr.it



To evaluate the effectiveness of partial splenic embolization (PSE) in patients with idiopathic portal hypertension (IPH) in reducing variceal bleeding episodes, splenomegaly and thrombocytopenia.


Six patients (2M, 4F, mean age 30.3 years) with IPH presenting with splenomegaly, thrombocytopenia and recurrent variceal bleeding were treated with PSE using gelatin sponge (four patients) or Contour particles (two patients) as embolization material.


PSE was performed successfully in all cases; 3F coaxial microcatheters were necessary in two patients due to extreme splenic artery tortuosity. The average amount of devascularized parenchyma at CT 1 week after PSE was 71%. Splenomegaly and thrombocytopenia improved in all cases, with a mean platelet count increase of 120,000/mm(3) and an average 68% reduction of spleen volume at follow up. Variceal bleeding did not recur after PSE. Esophageal or gastroesophageal varices disappeared (one patient) or significantly reduced (five patients) at endoscopic controls. No significant complications were noted. The follow up was of at least 18 months in all patients; mean follow up was 28.2 months.


In patients with IPH PSE can be effective in preventing variceal bleedings, in reducing spleen volume and in significantly increasing platelet count; therapeutic results were durable in our population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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