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Int J Surg Case Rep. 2020;66:122-125. doi: 10.1016/j.ijscr.2019.11.051. Epub 2019 Nov 30.

Spontaneous splenic rupture in a patient with chronic myeloid leukemia: A case report.

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Universidad de los Andes School of Medicine, Carrera 1A No. 18A-10, Bogotá, Colombia. Electronic address:
Universidad de los Andes School of Medicine, Carrera 1A No. 18A-10, Bogotá, Colombia.
Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá, Carrera 7 No. 117 - 15, Bogotá, Colombia.



Spontaneous splenic rupture is an atraumatic event that represents a rare and life-threatening acute complication in which the spleen is damaged producing internal hemorrhage in the abdominal cavity. Its association with hematologic malignancies, although a rare occurrence, has been previously described. Among this subset of patients, chronic myeloid leukemia is one of the main causes.


A 26-year-old male with history of chronic myeloid leukemia presented with acute intense abdominal right lower quadrant pain. Computed tomography showed a wedge in the lower third of the spleen (probably associated with infarction), active bleeding, and hemoperitoneum. Laparotomy and splenectomy were performed.


The most common symptom of spontaneous splenic rupture is acute abdominal pain, sometimes radiating to the left shoulder. It can also be associated with nausea, emesis and signs of hypovolemia or shock. Splenomegaly may be absent. Diagnostic methods of choice are computed tomography and ultrasound. Management of splenic rupture is divided in surgical and conservative. The former is reserved for patients with extensive splenic injury that is accompanied by hemodynamic instability or other trauma that warrants surgical treatment. Patients who do not meet these criteria and respond to initial stabilization strategies can be offered clinical and laboratory monitoring. Stable patients with moderate to severe splenic injuries can be offered angioembolization.


It is important to include splenic rupture as a differential diagnosis for acute abdominal pain, especially in patients with hematologic malignancy, since early recognition and treatment increases patient survival and improves prognosis.


Abdominal pain; Acute pain; Case report; Myeloid leukemia; Splenic rupture; Spontaneous rupture

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