Published online Jul 28, 2015. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v7.i7.143
Peer-review started: January 15, 2015
First decision: April 10, 2015
Revised: April 17, 2015
Accepted: May 5, 2015
Article in press: May 6, 2015
Published online: July 28, 2015
Visceral artery aneurysms (VAA) include splanchnic and renal artery aneurysms. They represent a rare clinical entity, although their detection is rising due to an increased use of cross-sectional imaging. Rupture is the most devastating complication, and is associated with a high morbidity and mortality. In addition, increased percutaneous endovascular interventions have raised the incidence of iatrogenic visceral artery pseudoaneurysms (VAPAs). For this reason, elective repair is preferable in the appropriately chosen patient. Controversy still exists regarding their treatment. Over the past decade, there has been steady increase in the utilization of minimally invasive, non-operative interventions, for vascular aneurysmal disease. All VAAs and VAPAs can technically be fixed by endovascular techniques but that does not mean they should. These catheter-based techniques constitute an excellent approach in the elective setting. However, in the emergent setting it may carry a higher morbidity and mortality. The decision for intervention has to take into account the size and the natural history of the lesion, the risk of rupture, which is high during pregnancy, and the relative risk of surgical or radiological intervention. For splanchnic artery aneurysms, we should recognize that we are not, in reality, well informed about their natural history. For most asymptomatic aneurysms, expectant treatment is acceptable. For large, symptomatic or aneurysms with a high risk of rupture, endovascular treatment has become the first-line therapy. Treatment of VAPAs is always mandatory because of the high risk of rupture. We present our point of view on interventional radiology in the splanchnic arteries, focusing on what has been achieved and the remaining challenges.
Core tip: This editorial deals with interventional radiological techniques in the splanchnic arteries, focusing on what has been achieved and the remaining challenges. For splanchnic artery aneurysms, we should recognize that we are not, in reality, well informed about their natural history. The indications for the embolization of aneurysms are limited depending on the morphology of the aneurysm and surrounding vessels. Rotational angiography and other recently developed imaging techniques can help analyze the vascular anatomy of every lesion in decision making on the appropriate treatment for each patient when choosing between embolization, surgery and surveillance.