Spontaneous rupture of the spleen associated with pneumonia

P. Domingo, P. Rodríguez, J. López-Contreras, P. Rebasa, S. Mota, X. Matias-Guiu

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Spontaneous rupture of the spleen is a rare and life-threatening complication of bacterial pneumonia, only six properly documented cases having been reported to date. A case of spontaneous splenic rupture associated with pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila is presented, together with a review of the literature. Most of the patients were aged over 50, but none had predisposing conditions. Left lung involvement predominated. Legionellosis and Q fever were the most frequent etiologic diagnoses. Empiric antibiotic therapy was adequate in all but two patients. One patient died; he had not undergone laparotomy. Spontaneous rupture of the spleen is an extremely rare complication of bacterial pneumonia that endangers the patient's life if surgery is not performed immediately. This complication should be borne in mind in patients with atypical pneumonia who have left quadrant pain and a falling hematocrit, even in the absence of prior splenomegaly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-736
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 1996


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