JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Atraumatic splenic rupture in amyloidosis

Pietro Renzulli, Alain Schoepfer, Esther Mueller, Daniel Candinas
Amyloid: the International Journal of Experimental and Clinical Investigation 2009, 16 (1): 47-53
19291515

BACKGROUND: Splenic involvement in amyloidosis is rather frequent (5-10%). An atraumatic rupture of the affected spleen is however an extremely rare event. We report on a patient with undiagnosed amyloidosis who underwent emergency splenectomy for atraumatic splenic rupture.

METHODS: Review of the literature and identification of 31 patients, including our own case report, with atraumatic splenic rupture in amyloidosis. Analysis of the clinical presentation, the surgical management, the nomenclature and definition of predisposing factors of splenic rupture.

RESULTS: We identified 15 women and 16 men (mean age 53.3 +/- 12.4 years; median 52, range: 27-82 years) with an atraumatic splenic rupture. Easy skin bruisability and factor X deficiency were detected in four (13%) and five patients (16%), respectively. The diagnosis of splenic rupture was made either by computed tomography (n = 12), ultrasound (n = 5), exploratory laparotomy (n = 9) or autopsy (n = 4). All patients underwent surgery (n = 27) or autopsy (n = 4). Amyloidosis was previously diagnosed in nine patients (29%). In the remaining 22 patients (71%), the atraumatic splenic rupture represented the initial manifestation of amyloidosis. Twenty-five patients (81%) suffered from primary (AL) and four patients (13%) from secondary amyloidosis (AA). In two patients, the type of amyloidosis was not specified. A moderate splenomegaly was a common feature (68%) and the characteristic intraoperative finding was an extended subcapsular hematoma with a limited parenchymal laceration (65%). In five patients with known amyloidosis, the atraumatic splenic rupture was closely associated with autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) (16%). Three patients were suffering from multiple myeloma (10%). A biopsy-proven amyloidotic liver involvement was present in 14 patients (45%), which lead to atraumatic liver rupture in two patients. The splenic rupture related 30-day mortality was 26% (8/31).

CONCLUSIONS: Atraumatic splenic rupture in amyloidosis is associated with a high 30-day mortality. It occurs predominantly in patients with previously undiagnosed amyloidosis. A moderate splenomegaly, coagulation abnormalities (easy skin bruisability, factor X deficiency) and treatment of amyloidosis with ASCT are considered predisposing factors for an atraumatic splenic rupture.

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