Spontaneous Rectus Sheath Hematoma: Factors Predictive of Conservative Management Failure

Benjamin N. Contrella, Auh Whan Park, Luke R. Wilkins, Daniel Sheeran, Taryn E. Hassinger, J. Fritz Angle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate radiographic, laboratory, and clinical factors associated with conservative management (CM) failure in spontaneous rectus sheath hematoma (RSH). Materials and Methods: Retrospective review of 72 patients with spontaneous RSH between 2006 and 2017 was performed. Patients were initially managed conservatively and then divided into 2 groups based on decision to embolize. No differences were found between embolization (n = 32) and CM (n = 40) groups in age (67.5 vs 69.5 y; P = .79), sex (31% vs 38% male; P = .58), body mass index (27.7 vs 25.7 kg/m2; P = .20), or medical comorbidities. Univariate analyses compared initial hemoglobin level, change in hemoglobin level, coagulation parameters, transfusion requirements, hematoma volume, and active extravasation on computed tomographic (CT) angiography between groups. Multivariable logistic regression identified factors predictive of CM failure. A scoring system was then created to predict CM failure. Results: CM failed in 32 of 72 patients. Multivariable regression identified active extravasation on CT angiography (P = .02), hematoma volume (P = .01), and packed red blood cell (pRBC) transfusion of ≥ 4 U (P = .03) as predictors of embolization. A scoring system using these factors along with maximum rate of hemoglobin decrease yielded a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 98% in determining need for embolization. Conclusions: CM for RSH was more likely to fail in patients with active extravasation on CT angiography, larger hematoma volume, pRBC transfusion of ≥ 4 U, and higher rate of hemoglobin decrease. Using these parameters, a scoring system was created that achieved high sensitivity and specificity in identifying patients who would require embolization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-330
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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