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Radiographics. 2012 Mar-Apr;32(2):523-34. doi: 10.1148/rg.322115135.

Image-guided percutaneous splenic interventions.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Division of Emergency Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St, White 270, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


In the spleen, image-guided interventional procedures such as biopsy and catheter drainage have not been widely performed because of the perceived increased risk of complications. The ability of image-guided biopsy to allow tissue diagnosis of a focal splenic mass without the need for splenectomy is the driving force behind use of this procedure in oncology patients. The literature on image-guided splenic biopsy suggests that the highest biopsy yield is achieved with core biopsy and the lowest complication rate is achieved with fine-needle aspiration. Image-guided catheter drainage is an effective alternative to splenectomy for management of infected splenic collections. In clinical practice, image-guided splenic biopsy, fluid aspiration, and catheter drainage have high success rates. Image-guided alcohol ablation is effective in treatment of splenic cysts. The literature on splenic radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is sparse; therefore, further studies are needed to determine the role of RFA in management of splenic neoplasms and hypersplenism. Image-guided percutaneous thrombin injection can be used to treat splenic artery pseudoaneurysms. Awareness of the correct interventional techniques and their limitations is important for safe performance of image-guided percutaneous splenic interventions.

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