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Splenic vein thrombosis: rare cause of abdominal pain
  1. Antonio J Martín-Jiménez,
  2. Oliva Mera-Gallardo,
  3. Daniel García-Gil
  1. Unidad de Gestión Clínica de Medicina Interna y Urgencias, Hospital del SAS San Carlos, Cádiz, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Antonio J Martín-Jiménez, Unidad de Gestión Clínica de Medicina Interna y Urgencias, Hospital del SAS San Carlos, Cádiz 11006, Spain; antoniomartinjimenez{at}


­An 83-year-old woman with a history of hypertension, diabetes and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation anticoagulated with acenocoumarol was brought to the emergency department due to dyspnoea. At admission, the patient reported a 1-week history of malaise, shortness of breath and non-productive cough. She denied fever but reported pain on the left flank. On examination, auscultation showed arrhythmic tones and crackles in the left lower lung field. Laboratory findings showed leucocytosis of 15.32×103/μL, and the C reactive protein was 177 mg/L. The activated partial thromboplastin time was 54.8 s, and the international normalised ratio was 7.09. A chest X-ray showed left lower lobe consolidation with pleural effusion. Point-of-care ultrasound was performed using a low-frequency curved transducer (2–5 MHz). The probe was placed in the left posterior axillary showing a pulmonary consolidation, but also a hypoechoic lesion in the spleen was found (figure 1).

Figure 1

Ultrasound image of the spleen in longitudinal section demonstrating a large, hypoechoic, wedge-shaped lesion.

Question What is the most likely diagnosis?

  1. Splenic abscess

  2. Subcapsular splenic haematoma

  3. Splenic infarction

  4. Splenic hydatid cyst

For answer see page 2

  • abdomen- non trauma
  • clinical assessment
  • diagnosis
  • imaging
  • ultrasound

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  • Collaborators M. Rosario Campos-Arenas.

  • Contributors DG-G planned the study. OM-G did the clinical history, treated the patient and collected the images. DG-G critically revised the manuscript and reviewed the bibliography. AJM-J wrote the manuscript and submitted the study.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.