Sudden and Unexpected Death Resulting from Splenic Artery Aneurysm Rupture: Two Case Reports of Pregnancy-Related Fatal Rupture of Splenic Artery Aneurysm

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Rupture of a splenic artery aneurysm is a rare and usually catastrophic event, most commonly associated with pregnancy. In spite of increasingly common reliance on abdominal angiography, magnetic resonance imaging, and computerized tomography during the past quarter century, clinicians uncommonly recognize any of the various splanchnic arterial aneurysms absent premonitory signs or symptoms. Accordingly, rupture of a visceral aneurysm, including splenic artery aneurysm, typically presents as sudden, unexpected obtundation or death. As a consequence, the initial recognition and diagnosis of splenic artery aneurysm rupture take place only at autopsy. This report presents two such cases of sudden death resulting from splenic artery aneurysm in a pregnant woman and a postpartum woman, respectively.

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