Decreased splenic enhancement on CT in traumatized hypotensive patients

Academic Article


  • Three patients with transient episodes of hypotension following blunt abdominal trauma incurred in motor vehicle accidents were examined by computed tomography within 6 hours of injury. The examinations were done using a contrast material injection technique that ordinarily leads to greater splenic than hepatic attenuation. None of the patients had splenic injury evident on autopsy, surgery, or clinical follow-up study (one case each), nor did they have other characteristic features of splenic infarction. However, in each case the spleen was less enhanced than the liver, leading to an erroneous impression in one patient that the splenic artery had been disrupted. Physiologic studies have shown that splenic perfusion decreases with sympathetic stimulation; this may have been the cause of the diminished enhancement. Decreased splenic enhancement should be interpreted cautiously in traumatized hypotensive patients.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Radiology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Berland LL; VanDyke JA
  • Start Page

  • 469
  • End Page

  • 471
  • Volume

  • 156
  • Issue

  • 2