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Unusual presentation of more common disease/injury
Traumatic splenectomy in a cirrhotic patient with hepatitis C and alcoholic liver disease
  1. Hosam E Matar1,
  2. Ashraf S Elmetwally1,
  3. Manojkumar S Nair1,
  4. Rudi Borgstein2,
  5. Olu Oluwajobi1
  1. 1Department of General Surgery, North Middlesex University Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Radiology, North Middlesex University Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hosam E Matar, hematar{at}


Non-operative management is the management of choice for haemodynamically stable patients with blunt splenic injury. However, coexistent liver cirrhosis poses significant challenges as it leads to portal hypertension and coagulopathy. A 52-year-old man sustained blunt abdominal trauma causing low-grade splenic injury. However, he was found to have liver cirrhosis causing haemodynamic instability requiring emergency laparotomy. His portal hypertension led to severe bleeding only controlled by aortic pressure and subsequent splenectomy. Mortality from emergency surgery in cirrhotic patients is extremely high. Despite aggressive resuscitation, they may soon become haemodynamically unstable. Therefore, traumatic splenectomy may be inevitable in such patients with portal hypertension and splenomegaly secondary to liver cirrhosis even in low-grade injury.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.