Pleural effusion following blunt splenic injury in the pediatric trauma population

Afif N Kulaylat, Brett W Engbrecht, Carolina Pinzon-Guzman, Vance L Albaugh, Susan E Rzucidlo, Jane R Schubart, Robert E Cilley
Journal of Pediatric Surgery 2014, 49 (9): 1378-81

BACKGROUND: Pleural effusion is a potential complication following blunt splenic injury. The incidence, risk factors, and clinical management are not well described in children.

METHODS: Ten-year retrospective review (January 2000-December 2010) of an institutional pediatric trauma registry identified 318 children with blunt splenic injury.

RESULTS: Of 274 evaluable nonoperatively managed pediatric blunt splenic injures, 12 patients (4.4%) developed left-sided pleural effusions. Seven (58%) of 12 patients required left-sided tube thoracostomy for worsening pleural effusion and respiratory insufficiency. Median time from injury to diagnosis of pleural effusion was 1.5days. Median time from diagnosis to tube thoracostomy was 2days. Median length of stay was 4days for those without and 7.5days for those with pleural effusions (p<0.001) and 6 and 8days for those pleural effusions managed medically or with tube thoracostomy (p=0.006), respectively. In multivariate analysis, high-grade splenic injury (IV-V) (OR 16.5, p=0.001) was associated with higher odds of developing a pleural effusion compared to low-grade splenic injury (I-III).

CONCLUSIONS: Pleural effusion following pediatric blunt splenic injury has an incidence of 4.4% and is associated with high-grade splenic injuries and longer lengths of stay. While some symptomatic patients may be successfully managed medically, many require tube thoracostomy for progressive respiratory symptoms.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"