Successful Emergency Embolization for Splenic Artery Pseudoaneurysm in a Patient with Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis, characterized by inflammation of the pancreas, can lead to various complications, one of which is the formation of pseudoaneurysms. These pseudoaneurysms, particularly those arising from the splenic artery, can pose a serious risk of hemorrhage. We present the case of a 48-year-old female with pancreatitis who experienced a sudden episode of melena and a significant drop in hemoglobin, prompting the discovery of a small pseudoaneurysm in the splenic artery.

Background:

Splenic artery pseudoaneurysms are rare but potentially life-threatening complications of pancreatitis. They result from the erosion of the arterial wall by pancreatic enzymes, leading to the formation of a pulsatile sac filled with blood. The rupture of such pseudoaneurysms can cause severe internal bleeding, making prompt intervention crucial.

Clinical Presentation:

The patient, already undergoing treatment for pancreatitis, presented with melena and a rapid decline in hemoglobin levels. Timely evaluation revealed a small pseudoaneurysm originating from the splenic artery, necessitating urgent intervention to prevent further complications.

Intervention:

Given the emergent nature of the situation, an emergency embolization procedure was planned. Embolization involves the insertion of a catheter into the blood vessels, guided by imaging techniques, to deliver agents that block or reduce blood flow to the affected area. In this case, the goal was to occlude the pseudoaneurysm and prevent hemorrhage.

Procedure:

The embolization procedure was successfully carried out, with the catheter precisely guided to the site of the pseudoaneurysm. Embolic agents, such as coils or particles, were deployed to occlude the abnormal vessel, ensuring cessation of blood flow and subsequent prevention of rupture.

Post-Procedure:

Following the successful embolization, the patient experienced no untoward events. Close monitoring was initiated to assess for any signs of recurrent bleeding or other complications. Post-procedure care included appropriate pain management, continued treatment for pancreatitis, and monitoring of hemoglobin levels.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the prompt identification and successful emergency embolization of a splenic artery pseudoaneurysm in a patient with pancreatitis averted a potentially life-threatening situation. This case underscores the importance of early intervention and collaborative efforts between gastroenterologists, interventional radiologists, and other healthcare providers to ensure optimal patient outcomes in the management of complications associated with pancreatitis.

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