Intraparenchymal metastases to the spleen from ovarian cancer: a case report

Abdul A Ghani, Zubair A Hashmi, Daniel M Chase, Shonak B Patel, Daniel F Jones
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2010, 4: 30

INTRODUCTION: Splenic tumors are rare and present a diagnostic dilemma. Metastatic carcinoma to the spleen is unusual. Visceral metastases in patients with ovarian cancer represent hematogenous spread of the disease; capsular involvement resulting from serosal and peritoneal seeding is more common. We present a patient with intraparenchymal splenic metastasis from ovarian carcinoma. This case demonstrates a rare etiology of an intraparenchymal solid splenic mass.

CASE PRESENTATION: An 85-year-old woman presented with left upper quadrant pain. During her evaluation, a computed tomography scan revealed intraparenchymal splenic masses. An elective splenectomy was performed, during which ovarian cancer, which had not been revealed by the pre-operative computed tomography, was detected. There was no involvement of the splenic capsule by direct extension of the tumor, as is usually the case for ovarian cancer, but only intraparenchymal metastases. This mode of metastasis to the spleen has been described but is quite rare, and ovarian cancer presenting as a splenic mass is even more so.

CONCLUSION: Splenic metastasis is a relatively rare event. It is often asymptomatic and is usually detected as part of multiorgan metastases. Symptomatic cases, though rare, do occur, and as in our patient, a thorough clinical evaluation is important to help direct the treatment plan. This case is a reminder to be cognizant of one of the less likely differential diagnoses of an intraparenchymal solid splenic mass.

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