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An unusual presentation of non pathological delayed splenic rupture: a case report

By Suhail Aslam Khan, Izz Muhammad, Fadal Laabei and Jane Rothwell


The diagnosis of Delayed Splenic Rupture poses a major challenge to even the most astute clinician, as it can mimic other medical emergencies. We present a case of an unusual presentation of delayed splenic rupture in a 23-year-old Caucasian man, who presented to the emergency department with a 2 day history of left upper quadrant pain. He initially denied any history of trauma. There were no signs of generalized peritonisim on examination but his haemoglobin level was low (8.9 gm/dl) for which there was no obvious cause identified. He was resuscitated and a computed tomography of the abdomen was performed. This revealed complete rupture of the splenic capsule with haemorrhagic fluid in the abdomen. With the computed tomography abdomen findings and further questioning of the patient, the only potential precipitating event that he could remember was a minor kick to the left upper quadrant more than 2 weeks ago while playing football. An urgent splenectomy was performed and histology confirmed complete rupture of the splenic capsule with a large adherent haematoma to the capsule. This case illustrates the difficulty in diagnosing delayed splenic rupture especially when accurate history is not available. A high index of suspicion is essential as delay in diagnosis can be fatal. Early diagnosis in suspected cases can be achieved by performing computed tomography of the abdomen

Topics: Case report
Publisher: Cases Network Ltd
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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