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Curr Opin Crit Care. 2007 Aug;13(4):399-404.

Diagnosis and management of blunt abdominal solid organ injury.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.



Nonoperative management of solid organ injuries has become the standard of care for over 25 years. Benefits of this practice include reduced operative complications, reduced transfusions, lower infectious morbidity, and shorter length of stay. Patients eligible for this management practice include those who are hemodynamically stable and who do not have associated injuries that require celiotomy. Operative interventions need to occur expeditiously in hemodynamically unstable patients with hepatic and splenic injuries.


Recent literature has focused on the continued success with nonoperative management of blunt solid organ injuries. The role of angioembolization for both splenic and hepatic injuries continues to be explored. Other authors are also questioning the appropriateness of clinical decisions for selection of hemodynamically unstable patients for nonoperative management. Operative management of blunt pancreatic trauma remains the rule.


Nonoperative management of solid organ injuries continues to have high success rates in the appropriate patient population. Minimally invasive adjuncts have a definite role in management of this patient population. Pancreatic trauma remains an operative injury. Surgeons must, however, temper the enthusiasm for nonoperative management of patients with solid organ injury, and exclude from this management scheme patients who would best be treated with surgery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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