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Case Reports in Surgery
Volume 2014, Article ID 196525, 3 pages
Case Report

Spontaneous Rupture of the Spleen Masquerading as a Pulmonary Infection

1Primary Health Care Centre of Kissamos, Loulakaki 13, Lentariana, Chania, 73134 Crete, Greece
2First Department of Surgery, Saint George General Hospital, Chania, Crete, Greece

Received 28 January 2014; Accepted 5 June 2014; Published 19 June 2014

Academic Editor: Serge Landen

Copyright © 2014 Dimitrios Anyfantakis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Atraumatic rupture of a normal spleen represents a rare clinical phenomenon. We report on an atypical presentation of a spontaneous splenic rupture in a 44-year-old previously healthy Greek male admitted to the emergency department due to left-sided pleuritic thoracic pain in the course of a pneumonia diagnosed 2 days before. During his stay, pain extended to the epigastric region. Abdominal examination revealed generalized tenderness. We presume that coughing secondary to respiratory infection was the main factor that precipitated splenic rupture. Despite the rarity of the condition physicians have to consider the diagnosis of spontaneous nontraumatic splenic rupture when they encounter healthy patients with nonspecific lower thoracic or abdominal pain. Prompt diagnosis is essential for a better outcome.