Emergency splenectomy for trauma in the setting of splenomegaly, axillary lymphadenopathy, and incidental B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia: A case report

Rodolfo J Oviedo, Andrew A Glickman
International Journal of Surgery Case Reports 2017, 37: 161-164

INTRODUCTION: The spleen is the most commonly injured intra-abdominal solid organ following blunt trauma. B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common leukocytic dyscrasia affecting adults in Western countries. Splenomegaly with axillary and retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy are common physical findings. This case investigates an emergency splenectomy in a community hospital involving a 45-year-old man with blunt abdominal trauma following an assault with incidental splenomegaly and axillary lymphadenopathy, with surgical pathology findings of B-cell CLL.

PRESENTATION OF CASE: A 45- year-old man without past medical or family history who was the victim of an assault presented to the emergency department 6h later with left upper quadrant pain and radiation to the left flank and a positive Kehr sign. An elevated absolute lymphocyte count above 7×109 and CT confirmation of a Grade V splenic laceration with splenomegaly, axillary lymphadenopathy, with hemodynamic compromise led to an exploratory laparotomy and emergency splenectomy regardless of the potential for malignancy.

DISCUSSION: Hemoperitoneum with blunt splenic injury (BSI) caused by abdominal trauma with hemodynamic instability should be treated with exploratory laparotomy and splenectomy even in the face of potential malignancy with splenomegaly and axillary lymphadenopathy. An appropriate oncologic work up and treatment can be provided after the emergency intervention.

CONCLUSION: An emergency splenectomy is an appropriate operative intervention for a grade V splenic laceration with hemoperitoneum, splenomegaly, and axillary lymphadenopathy regardless of the potential for a neoplastic process such as B-cell CLL. Post-splenectomy vaccinations and oncologic follow-up for systemic chemotherapy should be facilitated after recovery.

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