BMJ Case Reports 2013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2013-008931

Acute splenic infarction in a hiker with previously unrecognised sickle cell trait

  1. Ram Singh
  1. Department of Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Monica Gupta, monicamanish2001{at}


Acute splenic infarction in otherwise asymptomatic individuals harbouring sickle cell trait (SCT) may occur when they are exposed to low oxygen tension at high altitudes.1 The first ever case report of splenic infarction in SCT was published way back in 1954 by Cooley et al.2 Since then many similar cases have been reported worldwide and discussed at length.3 The case we are highlighting here is that of a young healthy 21-year-old man, born in Punjab, India who went mountain climbing (for the first time) at Nanda devi, Garhwal Himalayas (Uttarakhand), with an altitude of 5025 m above sea level. After rapidly ascending to around 3500 m he suddenly experienced acute left upper quadrant discomfort, shortness of breath and left-sided pleuritic chest pain …

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