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World J Emerg Surg. 2011 Jan 20;6:4. doi: 10.1186/1749-7922-6-4.

Case Report: Successful non-operative management of spontaneous splenic rupture in a patient with babesiosis.

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  • 1Boston University Medical Center 850 Harrison Avenue Dowling 2 South Boston Ma, 02118 USA. eric.mahoney@bmc.org.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Babesiosis is a zoonotic disease transmitted by the Ixodes tick species. Infection often results in sub-clinical manifestations; however, patients with this disease can become critically ill. Splenic rupture has been a previously reported complication of babesiosis, but treatment has always led to splenectomy. Asplenia places a patient at greater risk for overwhelming post-splenectomy infection from encapsulated bacteria, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia as well as Babesia microti. Therefore, avoiding splenectomy in these patients must be considered by the physician; particularly, if the patient is at risk for re-infection by living in an endemic area.

CASE PRESENTATION:

A 54 year-old male from the northeast United States presented with left upper quadrant abdominal pain associated with fever, chills, night sweats and nausea. A full evaluation revealed active infection with Babesia microti and multiple splenic lacerations. This patient was successfully treated with appropriate pharmacological therapy and non-operative observation for the splenic injury.

CONCLUSION:

Patients diagnosed with Babesia microti infection are becoming more common, especially in endemic areas. Although clinical manifestations are usually minimal, this infection can present with significant injuries leading to critical illness. We present the successful non-operative treatment of a patient with splenic rupture due to babesiosis infection.

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