What is splenic infarction?

Updated: Jul 27, 2020
  • Author: Manish Parikh, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Splenic infarction refers to occlusion of the splenic vascular supply, leading to parenchymal ischemia and subsequent tissue necrosis. The infarct may be segmental, or it may be global, involving the entire organ. It is the result of arterial or venous compromise and is associated with a heterogeneous group of diseases.

Splenic infarction alone is not an indication for surgery. However, nonoperative management warrants close follow-up, and surgery is indicated for persistent symptoms or in the presence of complications such as hemorrhage, rupture, abscess, or persistent pseudocyst.

As laparoscopic techniques become more advanced, many of the surgical problems associated with splenic infarction certainly will prove amenable to laparoscopic splenectomy or partial splenectomy. There is great interest regarding the extension of the safe indications for splenic preservation. As technologies evolve, laparoscopic splenic preservation may become the future standard of care for segmental infarcts.

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