Long-Term Follow-Up After Non-operative Management of Blunt Splenic and Liver Injuries: A Questionnaire-Based Survey
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Non-operative management (NOM) of blunt splenic or liver injuries (solid organ injury, SOI) has become the standard of care in hemodynamically stable patients. However, the incidence of long-term symptoms in these patients is currently not known. The aim of this study was to assess long-term symptoms in patients undergoing successful NOM (sNOM) for SOI.
Long-term posttraumatic outcomes including chronic abdominal pain, irregular bowel movements, and recurrent infections were assessed using a specifically designed questionnaire and analyzed by univariable analysis.
Eighty out of 138 (58%) patients with SOI undergoing sNOM) responded to the questionnaire. Median (IQR) follow-up time was 48.8 (28) months. Twenty-seven (34%) patients complained of at least one of the following symptoms: 17 (53%) chronic abdominal pain, 13 (41%) irregular bowel movements, and 8 (25%) recurrent infections. One female patient reported secondary infertility. No significant association between the above-mentioned symptoms and the Injury Severity Score, amount of hemoperitoneum, or high-grade SOI was found. Patients with chronic pain were significantly younger than asymptomatic patients (32.1 ± 14.5 vs. 48.3 ± 19.4 years, p = 0.002). Irregular bowel movements were significantly more frequent in patients with severe pelvic fractures (15.4 vs. 0.0%, p = 0.025). A trend toward a higher frequency of recurrent infections was found in patients with splenic injuries (15.9 vs. 2.8%, p = 0.067).
A third of patients with blunt SOI undergoing sNOM reported long-term abdominal symptoms. Younger age was associated with chronic abdominal symptoms. More studies are warranted to investigate long-term outcomes immunologic sequelae in patients after sNOM for SOI.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Peter Moreno, Matthias Von Allmen, Tobias Haltmeier, Daniel Candinas, and Beat Schnüriger have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.
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