Splenic Artery Aneurysm Rupture: A Rare but Fatal Cause for Peripartum Collapse

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Splenic artery aneurysm (SAA) is the most common (60%) of all visceral artery aneurysms. The majority of these cases are asymptomatic, but the presentation of their rupture can vary from abdominal/chest pain to cardiovascular collapse (Sadat U, Dar O, Walsh S, Varty K. Splenic artery aneurysms in pregnancy—a systematic review. Int J Surg. 2008;6(3):261-265.). Although rare, the mortality associated with the rupture is as high as 25% (De Vries JE, Schattenkerk ME, Malt RA. Complications of splenic artery aneurysm other than intraperitoneal rupture. Surgery. 1982;91 (2):200-204; Caillouette JC, Merchant EB: Ruptured splenic artery aneurysm in pregnancy. Twelfth reported case with maternal and fetal survival. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1993; 168(6 Pt 1):1810-1811) and increases to 75% among pregnant women with a concomitant fetal mortality of 95% (O'Grady JP, Day EJ, Toole AL, et al. Splenic artery aneurysm rupture in pregnancy. A review and case report. Obstet Gynecol. 1977; 50(5):627-630). Because of such high maternal and fetal mortality prompt management of SAAs is of utmost importance. We are presenting a case of a 35-year-old woman with a missed ruptured SAA who after an emergent cesarean section went into profound shock and was unable to be resuscitated. This case illustrates the importance of considering the diagnosis of SAA rupture in hemodynamically unstable peripartum females.

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