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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hepatic ischemia as a complication after correction of post-traumatic gibbus at the thoracolumbar junction.

STUDY DESIGN: This is a case report of hepatic ischemia secondary to celiac trunk stenosis as a complication after correction of a preoperative 30 degrees gibbus at the thoracolumbar junction. OBJECTIVES: A high index of suspicion is needed to make a timely diagnosis of hepatic ischemia in any setting. After spinal reconstruction involving lengthening, symptoms suggestive of an acute abdomen accompanied by markedly elevated liver enzymes should be evaluated with an angiogram to check for celiac trunk stenosis. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Review of the literature showed no reported cases of hepatic ischemia or descriptions of the status of celiac trunk stenosis after spinal surgery. Even in more commonly associated settings, diagnosis of both phenomena is often delayed, with possible morbid consequences. METHODS: A case is presented of a patient who underwent gibbus correction and re-establishment of lost anterior intervertebral distance at the thoracolumbar junction. After surgery, ischemic hepatitis, a perforated gallbladder, and splenic infarction developed secondary to celiac trunk stenosis-a result of cephalad displacement of the celiac trunk and compression of the artery by the diaphragmatic ligament. RESULTS: An emergent exploratory laparotomy with cholecystectomy was performed followed by an angiogram, which demonstrated stenosis of the celiac trunk. After release of the arcuate ligament, the patient's condition improved rapidly, and he made a complete recovery. CONCLUSIONS: The consequences of a delay in diagnosis of hepatic ischemia can be disastrous. An awareness of the possibility of this complication after spinal lengthening should facilitate a timely angiogram and operative intervention.[1]


  1. Hepatic ischemia as a complication after correction of post-traumatic gibbus at the thoracolumbar junction. von Glinski, K.S., Krettek, C., Blauth, M., Oldhafer, K.J. Spine. (2000) [Pubmed]
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