Background: The incidence of splenectomy after trauma is institutionally dependent and varies from 18% to as much as 40%. This is important because variation in management influences splenic salvage. The aim of this study was to investigate whether differences exist between Dutch level 1 trauma centers with respect to the treatment of these injuries, and if variation in treatment was related to splenic salvage, spleen-related reinterventions, and mortality.
Methods: Consecutive adult patients who were admitted between January 2009 and December 2012 to five academic level 1 trauma centers were identified. Multinomial logistic regression was used to measure the influence of hospital on treatment strategy, controlling for hemodynamic instability on admission, high grade (American Association for the Surgery of Trauma 3-5) splenic injury, and injury severity score. Binary logistic regression was used to quantify differences among hospitals in splenic salvage rate.
Results: A total of 253 patients were included: 149 (59%) were observed, 57 (23%) were treated with splenic artery embolization and 47 (19%) were operated. The observation rate was comparable in all hospitals. Splenic artery embolization and surgery rates varied from 9%-32% and 8%-28%, respectively. After adjustment, the odds of operative management were significantly higher in one hospital compared with the reference hospital (adjusted odds ratio 4.98 [1.02-24.44]). The odds of splenic salvage were significantly lower in another hospital compared with the reference hospital (adjusted odds ratio 0.20 [0.03-1.32]).
Conclusions: Although observation rates were comparable among the academic trauma centers, embolization and surgery rates varied. A nearly 5-fold increase in the odds of operative management was observed in one hospital, and another hospital had significantly lower odds of splenic salvage. The development of a national guideline is recommended to minimalize splenectomy after trauma. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Blunt splenic injury
- Treatment variation
- Splenic salvage