Public Health and Primary CareCASE REPORT

Atraumatic spontaneous splenic rupture in a female COVID-19 patient

Michele T. Melamed, DO, MPH; and Jake L. Gigliotti, MSI
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: December 17, 2021

Accepted: April 12, 2022

Published: May 6, 2022

  • Michele T. Melamed, DO, MPH, 

    Department of Emergency Medicine, Northside Hospital Gwinnett, Lawrenceville, GA, USA

  • Jake L. Gigliotti, MSI, 

    Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA, USA

Abstract

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), an infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has severely ravaged the world since the end of 2019. Although most cases range from mild to severe with primarily respiratory symptoms, there have been some unusual clinical presentations, one of which is described in this case report. A 30 year-old woman with no significant medical history presented to the emergency department (ED) in October 2020 with sudden onset of severe left upper and lower abdominal pain. Her initial triaged blood pressure was 70 mmHg systolic, associated with mild tachycardia. Her beta human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG) was negative, and her initial hemoglobin was 9.3 g/dL. A bedside ultrasound (US) was immediately performed, which showed moderate free fluid in the pelvis as well as in the right and left upper quadrants of the abdomen. She was stabilized with a fluid bolus and later underwent a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis, which showed an apparent grade III splenic laceration without active extravasation. The patient underwent a successful embolization procedure by interventional radiology (IR) and was discharged from the hospital 2 days later. The initial medical workup included a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test but included no other findings that could serve as a cause for her spleen to spontaneously rupture. The purpose of this case report is to illustrate and make other clinicians aware of unusual potential complications and clinical presentations of COVID-19. The condition of spontaneous splenic rupture (SSR) is an uncommon but an emergent differential diagnosis in an otherwise healthy person with potential drastic outcomes. A careful approach in the management and care of these patients is warranted. This is one of a handful of case reports on SSR secondary to COVID-19 to the best of our knowledge.

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