Cocaine use and splenic rupture: a rare yet serious association

  • Nishrutha Karthik Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States.
  • Karthik Gnanapandithan | kg.ynhh@gmail.com Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Department of Internal Medicine, Yale- New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT, United States.

Abstract

Cocaine abuse is frequent in patients visiting the emergency department. The knowledge of the cardiovascular complications of cocaine is excellent among physicians. However the awareness regarding its abdominal complications, the most important of which include gastroduodenal perforation, bowel ischemia and splenic rupture is less adequate. We report a 58-year-old with cocaine use who presents with upper abdominal pain and a rapidly worsening clinical status. He was found to have atraumatic splenic rupture causing a hemoperitoneum that was managed by intervention radiology guided splenic artery embolization. Splenic hemorrhage and rupture need timely recognition, as they are difficult to diagnose clinically and can be potentially fatal. In the encounter of patients with cocaine use who present with chest or upper abdominal pain, clinicians should consider imaging to look for splenic rupture as it is often masked or overlooked due to the complicated clinical picture.

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Published
2016-08-11
Section
Case Reports
Keywords:
Cocaine, splenic rupture, hemoperitoneum, abdominal pain, hemorrhage.
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How to Cite
Karthik, N., & Gnanapandithan, K. (2016). Cocaine use and splenic rupture: a rare yet serious association. Clinics and Practice, 6(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/cp.2016.868