Cirrhosis increases mortality and splenectomy rates following splenic injury

MacKenzie R. Cook, Kelly A. Fair, Jennifer Burg, Lindsay Cattin, Arvin Gee, Saman Arbabi, Martin Schreiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background Cirrhosis may be a risk factor for mortality following blunt splenic injury (BSI) and it predicts the need for an operative intervention. Methods We performed a case-control study at 3 level 1 trauma centers. Comparisons were made with chi-square test, Wilcoxon rank-sum test, and binary logistic regression, and stratified by propensity for splenectomy. Data are presented as odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Results Mortality was 27% (21/77) and cirrhosis was a strong risk factor for death (OR 8.8, 95% CI 3.7 to 21.1). Compared with controls, cirrhosis was an independent risk factor for splenectomy (OR 5.4, 95% CI 2.5 to 11.5), and only splenic injury grade was associated with splenectomy (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3 to 3.6). Only admission model for end-stage liver disease was independently associated with mortality after an operation (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.8). After propensity score matching, we found no association between splenectomy and mortality in cirrhotic patients. Conclusion Cirrhosis dramatically increases mortality and the odds of an operative intervention in BSI patients with pre-existing cirrhosis, and BSI requires vigilant attention and early intervention should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-847
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Abdominal trauma
  • Blunt splenic injury
  • Cirrhosis
  • Nonoperative management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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