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Turk J Gastroenterol. 2012;23(5):596-8.

Spontaneous splenic infarction in an elderly cirrhotic patient with multiple comorbidities.

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Etlik İhtisas Educational and Research Hospital, Department of Gastroenterology, Ankara, Turkey.


Spontaneous splenic infarction has been seen rarely in cirrhosis and portal hypertension. The clinical presentation can mimic other causes of acute abdominal pain. The diagnosis of the condition is based on clinical findings and splenic imaging. In recent years, ultrasonography and computed tomographic scan have gained in popularity for the diagnosis of splenic infarction. Most reported cases are of focal infarction, and treatment is mostly conservative. Herein, we describe a rare case of spontaneous splenic infarction in an elderly cirrhotic patient with portal hypertension who also had comorbidities. A 72-year-old female previously diagnosed with cirrhosis was admitted for left upper quadrant abdominal pain for two days. Her medical history included cryptogenic cirrhosis, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and hypertension. Physical examination on admission revealed a palpable splenomegaly. Abdominal ultrasonography revealed splenomegaly and a hypoechoic area with lobulated contours measuring 62 x 35 mm extending from the subcapsular area to the hilus in the middle section of the spleen. Abdominal computed tomographic showed a subcapsular hypodense lesion of the spleen measuring 64 x 58 mm. Doppler ultrasound revealed a wedge-shaped heterogeneous hypoechoic avascular area extending from the central zone to the lateral zone of the spleen. In our case, diagnosis of splenic infarction was made by computed tomographic and Doppler ultrasonography. Our patient received conservative treatment for the underlying diseases. Spontaneous splenic infarction must be kept in mind in cirrhotic patients with underlying comorbidities presenting with left upper quadrant pain.

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