Management of Splenic Abscess in a Critically Ill Patient

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Because of the increased number of immunocompromised patients within the general population, the incidence of splenic abscesses has increased over the last decade. This cohort of immune-deficient patients with splenic abscesses engenders a distinct evolution in the pathogenesis and microbiology of the disease process. Moreover, the morbidity and mortality rates for splenic abscesses are increased in this unique population. Clinically, these patients do not have a characteristic presentation. Diagnostically, computed tomography of the abdomen is the test of choice. Antibiotics and splenectomy remain the standard of care in most clinical settings. However, percutaneous drainage is reported with solitary and unilocular abscesses and in poor operative candidates. An unusual case of a patient with a splenic abscess awaiting heart transplantation is presented. This patient was successfully treated with percutaneous drainage and antibiotics. The literature regarding the presentation, diagnosis, pathogenesis, and treatment of splenic abscesses is reviewed as well.

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