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Large B- Cell lymphoma presenting as acute abdominal pain and spontaneous splenic rupture; A case report and review of relevant literature

Saptarshi Biswas1*, Judith Keddington2 and James McClanathan2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of General Surgery, Stanford University Medical Center. 300 Pasteur Drive, Palo Alto, CA- 94305. USA

2 Department of General Surgery, Kaiser Permanente, 900 Kiely Blvd. Santa Clara. CA95051. USA

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World Journal of Emergency Surgery 2006, 1:35  doi:10.1186/1749-7922-1-35

Published: 28 November 2006



Spontaneous rupture of the spleen is an uncommon dramatic abdominal emergency that requires immediate diagnosis and prompt surgical treatment to ensure the patients survival. Infections have been cited in most cases involving splenic rupture but are rare in hematological malignancies despite frequent involvement of the spleen.

Methods and Materials

We present a case of a splenic rupture caused by infiltration of B-cell lymphoma. A 43 year old gentleman presented with a 1 day h/o left upper quadrant pain; nausea and vomiting for 2 days with associated dizziness and anorexia. The CT showed abnormal spleen 20 × 11 cm with free fluid in the abdomen and enlarged retroperitoneal LNs. The patient underwent a splenectomy after initial resuscitation and the operative finding was that of a massively enlarged spleen with areas of tumor extruding through the splenic capsule.

Result and conclusion

Although the spleen is often involved in hematological malignancies, splenic rupture is an infrequent occurrence. In a recent literature review 136 cases were of splenic rupture secondary to hematological malignancy were identified. Acute leukemia and non Hodgkin lymphoma were the frequent causes followed by chronic myelogeneous leukemia. Male sex, adulthood, severe splenomegaly and cytoreductive chemotherapy were factors more often associated with splenic rupture. Emergency splenectomy remains the cornerstone treatment for splenic rupture.

We present a case report of a "spontaneous splenic rupture" and discuss the presentation, etiology and treatment options along with discussion of relevant literature