Splenic abscess leading to spontaneous splenic rupture

  • Annum A. Bhullar Department of Emergency Medicine, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar, CA, United States.
  • Caleb P. Canders | ccanders@mednet.ucla.edu Department of Emergency Medicine, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, San Jose, CA, United States. http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4731-1899
  • Amir Rouhani Department of Emergency Medicine, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar, CA, United States.
  • Steven Lai Department of Emergency Medicine, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar, CA, United States.


Spontaneous, atraumatic rupture of the spleen is an uncommon but potentially fatal cause of acute abdominal pain. Splenic abscesses are equally rare and can be a risk factor for spontaneous splenic rupture. We present a 45-year-old man with no past medical or surgical history who presented with acute worsening of left upper abdominal pain that had been present for months, who was discovered to have a ruptured spleen. Splenic abscess was discovered intra-operatively and was thought to have developed after dental work. Recognizing presenting features of spontaneous splenic rupture and understanding its potential causes, such as splenic abscesses, may prevent delayed or missed diagnosis and guide treatment, which typically includes emergent splenectomy.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.


Chang KC, Chuah SK, Changchien CS, et al. Clinical characteristics and prognostic factors of splenic abscess: a review of 67 cases in a single medical center of Taiwan. World J Gastroenterol 2006;12:460-4. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v12.i3.460

Nelken N, Ignatius J, Skinner M, et al. Changing clinical spectrum of splenic abscess. Am J Surg 1987;154:27–34. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0002-9610(87)90285-6

Alnasser SA, Mindru C, Preventza O, et al. Successful conservative management of a large splenic abscess secondary to infective endocarditis. Ann Thorac Surg 2019;107:e235-e237. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.08.065

Chiang IS, Lin TJ, Chiang IC, et al. Splenic abscesses: review of 29 cases. Kaohsiung J Med Sci 2003;19:510-5. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1607-551X(09)70499-1

Gadacz TR. Splenic abscess. World J Surg 1985;9:410-5. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01655275

Brook I, Frazier EH. Microbiology of liver and spleen abscesses. J Med Microbiol 1998;47:1075-80. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1099/00222615-47-12-1075

Green BT. Splenic abscess: report of six cases and review of the literature. Am Surg 2001;67:80-5.

Nieciecki M, Kozuch M, Czarnieck Ci, et al. How to diagnose splenic abscesses? Acta Gastroenterol Belg 2019;82:421-6.

Renzulli P, Hostettler A, Schoepfer AM, et al. Systematic review of atraumatic splenic rupture. Br J Surg 2009;96:1114-21. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/bjs.6737

Orloff MJ, Peskin GW. Spontaneous rupture of the normal spleen: a surgical enigma. Int Abstr Surg 1958;106:1-11.

Gedik E, Girgin S, Aldemir M, et al. Non-traumatic splenic rupture: report of seven cases and review of the literature. World J Gastroenterol 2009;14:6711-6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.14.6711

Mirvis SE, Soto JA, Shanmuganathan K, et al. Problem Solving in Emergency Radiology. Saunders.

Jeffrey RB, Laing FC, Federle MP, et al. Computed tomography of splenic trauma. Radiology 1981;141:729-32. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1148/radiology.141.3.7302229

Case Reports
Splenic abscess, splenic rupture, splenic hemorrhage, splenectomy
  • Abstract views: 694

  • PDF: 207
How to Cite
Bhullar, A. A., Canders, C. P., Rouhani, A., & Lai, S. (2021). Splenic abscess leading to spontaneous splenic rupture. Emergency Care Journal, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/ecj.2021.9204