Retroperitoneal bleeding after cardiac catheterization: A 7-year descriptive single-center experience

Alon Eisen, Ran Kornowski, Muthiah Vaduganathan, Eli Lev, Hana Vaknin-Assa, Tamir Bental, Katia Orvin, David Brosh, Eldad Rechavia, Alexander Battler, Abid Assali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Retroperitoneal bleeding (RPB) is an unusual but potentially fatal vascular complication occurring after cardiac catheterization (CC). Contemporary data of RPB in the era of dual antiplatelet therapy and vascular closure devices are lacking. Methods: We retrospectively examined all RPB cases that occurred after CC in the Rabin Medical Center between the years 2005 and 2011. Results: Of 26,487 patients who underwent CC, a total of 48 patients (mean age 60.9 ± 13.8 years, 52.1% female) with RPB were identified (0.18%). The indication for CC was acute coronary syndrome (43.7%), myocardial infarction (35.4%), stable angina pectoris (8.3%), hemodynamic studies for valvular heart disease (10.4%) and others (2.1%). Coronary intervention was performed in 34 patients (70.9%) and a vascular closure device (VCD) was used in 16 patients (33.3%). Seventy-seven percent of patients were treated with clopidogrel, 20.8% with glycoprotein IIb-IIIa inhibitors and 85.4% with anticoagulation during CC. Median time to diagnosis of bleeding was 9.0 h, while the median time to bleeding differed between patients with and without a VCD (12 vs. 5 h, respectively). The clinical presentation of RPB was hemorrhagic shock in 39.6% of patients and 50.0% required at least one blood transfusion. Patients were managed either with conservative treatment (79.2%), angiography stenting (14.6%) or vascular surgery (6.2%). A total of 3 patients died during hospitalization, of which RPB was the etiology in 2 (4.2%). Conclusions: RPB which is a rare complication of CC is associated with younger age and female gender, as compared to patients without RPB. Onset of bleeding can be delayed in patients with VCDs. With careful and early diagnosis, most patients with RPB after CC can be managed conservatively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-222
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Coronary angiography
  • Retroperitoneal bleeding
  • Retroperitoneal hematoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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