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Acute abdomen due to spontaneous splenic rupture as the first presentation of lung malignancy: a case report

Author(s): Kyriacou Angelos | Arulraj Nolan | Varia Haren

Journal: Journal of Medical Case Reports
ISSN 1752-1947

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 444;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Introduction Spontaneous splenic rupture is well recognized in the context of hematological malignancies (lymphoproliferative and myeloproliferative disorders); a few case reports have also linked solid tumors, such as pancreatic and liver cancer, with the occurrence of spontaneous splenic rupture. This is the first case report of lung cancer as a likely cause of spontaneous splenic rupture. Case presentation A 61-year-old Caucasian woman presented to our hospital with non-specific symptoms. She developed an 'acute' abdomen and went into a state of shock within twelve hours of her presentation. She was diagnosed with spontaneous splenic rupture with radiology and following a laparotomy. She made an uneventful recovery postoperatively and was simultaneously found to have a bronchial adenocarcinoma. Conclusion Spontaneous splenic rupture is a potentially fatal but often unrecognized cause of acute abdomen. It should be routinely considered in the differential diagnosis of acute ('surgical') abdomen and when present it should be promptly dealt with, most commonly with a laparotomy. Once the diagnosis is confirmed there should be an aggressive drive to identify an underlying etiology; malignancy is the commonest culprit. Solid tumors should be considered as underlying causes despite being less common than hematological neoplasms. This case report demonstrates lung malignancy as an underlying precipitating cause of spontaneous splenic rupture.
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