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CASE REPORT
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 99-102

Spontaneous massive hemoperitoneum: A potentially life threatening presentation of the wandering spleen


1 Department of Surgery, Abington Memorial Hospital, Abington, Pennsylvania, USA
2 Department of Surgery, Surgical Oncology Division, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, California, USA
3 Department of Surgery, Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pennsylvania, USA

Correspondence Address:
Iswanto Sucandy
Department of Surgery, Abington Memorial Hospital, 1200 Old York Road, Abington, PA 19001
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Context: Wandering spleen is an unusual condition characterized by the absence or maldevelopment of one or all of the ligaments securing the spleen in its normal position in the left upper abdomen. Pedicular tortion with a complete vascular disruption is a rare but known potential complication of this mostly congenital disorder. Spontaneous hemoperitoneum with acute abdomen however, is a life threatening situation that has not been adequately reported in the adult literature. Case Report: A forty four year old man presented to the emergency department with an acutely distended and rigid abdomen. His past medical history was only significant for mild mental retardation. The patient denies prior abdominal operation or recent trauma. On initial examination, he appeared to be anxious, pale, and tachycardic. Fullness in the midpelvic region was easily appreciated on palpation. An enlarged pelvic spleen and free intraperitoneal fluid consistent with blood were seen on a CT scan. The patient was promptly taken for an exploratory laparotomy where a large rush of blood was encountered upon entering the abdomen. A volvulus of the splenic pedicle with an infarcted spleen was found mandating a splenectomy. Conclusions : Abnormally located spleen, splenomegaly, and finding of hemoperitoneum are highly suggestive of wandering spleen with tortioned pedicle. Despite its life threatening presentation, immediate laparotomy and splenectomy invariably result in good outcome.


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