Splenic Abscess: Report of Six Cases and Review of the Literature

Green, Bryan T.
January 2001
American Surgeon;Jan2001, Vol. 67 Issue 1, p80
Academic Journal
Splenic abscesses are rare but appear to be increasing in frequency. Recent advances in radiologic techniques have affected the diagnosis and management. The purpose of this study was to evaluate these effects. The medical records of one institution were retrospectively reviewed and six cases of splenic abscesses seen between 1989 and 1999 were identified. All patients had predisposing conditions with metastatic hematogenous infection in three and one each with trauma, immunodeficiency, and a contiguous site of infection. Fever was present in all patients with chills and vomiting in five and three patients, respectively. Left upper quadrant tenderness appeared in four patients and leukocytosis was found in every patient except one with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Chest roentgenograms were abnormal in five patients with a left pleural effusion most common. Ultrasound revealed the defect in both patients it was utilized in and computed tomography was diagnostic in all cases. The causative organisms were anaerobes in two cases and Candida albicans, Streptococcus viridans, Escherichia coli, and Citrobacter freundii each present in one case. Radiology guided percutaneous drainage was attempted in four patients but was only successful in one. Splenectomy with antibiotics was curative in the remainder with a 100 per cent survival. These data suggest that percutaneous drainage may be appropriate for certain patients initially, but the high failure rate demonstrates that splenectomy remains the standard treatment.


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