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Surgery. 1996 Oct;120(4):627-33; discussion 633-4.

Current management of visceral artery aneurysms.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, III, USA.



Visceral artery aneurysms are an uncommon but important form of abdominal vascular disease. This study reviews a contemporary experience with special emphasis on newer methods of diagnosis and treatment.


From 1980 to 1994, 37 patients were diagnosed with 46 visceral artery aneurysms. These consisted of 22 splenic, 10 hepatic, 4 superior mesenteric, 2 gastroduodenal, 3 celiac, 2 left gastric, 1 pancreatoduodenal, 1 jejunal-ileal, and 1 inferior mesenteric artery aneurysms. Follow-up was complete for 28 patients, average of 37.7 months. There were 17 asymptomatic and 29 symptomatic aneurysms, including 11 presenting with rupture.


Seventeen patients were treated surgically, with no surgical deaths. Surgical complications included splenic abscess (two) and failure to thrombose (one). Transcatheter embolization was used in 12 patients. Complications included splenic infarction (one) and recurrence (two), successfully treated with repeat embolization. Nine patients were treated with observation. Eight experienced no complications during follow-up; one died of a ruptured splenic artery aneurysm before treatment was initiated.


The widespread use of computed tomography has led to increased detection of asymptomatic visceral artery aneurysms. Although surgery remains necessary in many patients, transcatheter embolization is effective in the treatment of selected visceral artery aneurysms with few complications and low recurrence.

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