Intra-abdominal infection following combined spleen-colon trauma

J. M. Blackwood, T. Hurd, W. Suval, G. W. Machiedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The reality of late overwhelming post-splenectomy sepsis in adults as well as children has led to more frequent attempts at splenic salvage following splenic trauma. Less attention has been paid to early septic postoperative complications in the splenectomized patient. Associated colon injury has been believed to be a relative contraindication to splenic conservation. If splenectomy enhances the chance of early postoperative infection, then associated colon injury should be an indication for splenic salvage. One hundred sixty one patients who had either splenic trauma (58), colon trauma (90), or combined spleen-colon trauma (13) were studied. All patients with splenic trauma had a splenectomy. There was a significantly higher incidence of intra-abdominal sepsis requiring reoperation in the spleen-colon patients (46.7%) than in either of the other groups (spleen = 5.7%, colon = 8.9%, P < .002 for both comparisons). It is concluded that splenectomy enhances infection in the early postoperative period. When possible, combined spleen-colon trauma should be an indication rather than a contraindication for splenic salvage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-216
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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