During the period from 1975 to 1991, 41 patients with 60 visceral artery aneurysms were treated at the Affiliated Hospitals of Emory University. The total included 13 patients in whom 16 aneurysms were treated primarily by transarterial embolization. There were seven hepatic artery aneurysms, three splenic artery aneurysms, three gastroduodenal artery aneurysms, two left gastric artery aneurysms, and one right gastroepiploic artery aneurysm. Average age of these patients was 50 years; there were eight males and five females. Seven patients presented with gastrointestinal bleeding, and two patients presented with abdominal pain. In four patients, the aneurysm was an incidental finding. Etiology of the true or false aneurysms consistedof pancreatitis in two patients, trauma in three patients, connective tissue disease in one, and was unknown in the remainder. Embolization was performed in seven cases with Gianturco coils and Gelfoam, with coils alone in four, with Gelfoam alone in four, and with detachable balloons in one instance. Complete occlusion was achieved initially in 13 cases. Recanalization occurred in two patients over a mean follow-up period of 8.6 months, requiring re-embolization in one patient, whereas the other patient was managed expectantly. In three cases, embolization was unsuccessful: two cases required surgical correction, and one case was managed expectantly. Only one complication was related to the embolization procedure, which was a common hepatic arterial dissection that proceeded to the formation of a false aneurysm. Embolization as the primary treatment modality for visceral rtery aneurysms should be considered in patients with the following diagnoses: pseudoaneurysms associated with pancreatitis, intrahepatic aneurysms, most splenic artery aneurysms, and gastric, gastroduodenal, and gastroepiploic aneurysms. The procedure has a low risk and may obviate a difficult surgical procedure, but it does not preclude surgical intervention should the need arise.
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