A 2019 international survey to assess trends in follow-up imaging of blunt splenic trauma

  • Devang OdedraEmail author
  • Vincent Mellnick
  • Michael Patlas
Original Article



There are no published guidelines on the follow-up imaging of non-operatively managed blunt splenic trauma (BST). We conducted an international survey of emergency radiologists to determine the ideal patient population, time period, and technique for follow-up imaging of BST.


An anonymous 10-question online survey was distributed via email to 34 emergency radiologists around the world. The survey was open for a 2-week period in 2019. A commercially available website (SurveyMonkey®) was used for survey generation and data acquisition.


We received 29 responses (85% response rate) primarily from USA, Canada, and Europe. Majority of the institutions handled > 1000 trauma cases (69%). The initial protocol consisted of arterial and portal venous phases (PVP) in 72% of responses. Sixty-two percent of the institutions did not have a routine protocol for follow-up imaging of BST. There was no consensus on which patients received follow-up imaging. The most frequent responses had been case-per-case basis or injuries above a set AAST grade (42% and 37%, respectively). There was no set time period for follow-up imaging, but MDCT was most often performed at 24–48 h. Dual-phase protocol was utilized most commonly (69%). Majority of the institutions (88%) utilized angioembolization for hemodynamically stable patients with contained vascular injury or active extravasation.


There is no consensus on the optimal patient population or time period for follow-up imaging of BST. A dual-phase follow-up MDCT protocol is utilized for follow-up by majority of institutions.


Computed tomography Splenic injury Non-operative management Blunt trauma 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Patlas, M received honorarium as an Editor from Springer.


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Copyright information

© American Society of Emergency Radiology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyMcMaster UniversitiyHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Abdominal Imaging Division, Mallinckrodt Institute of RadiologyWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  3. 3.Division of Emergency/Trauma RadiologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyHamilton General HospitalHamiltonCanada

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