Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Spleen: trauma

Contributor(s): Andrew Gardiner, Joseph Harari, Elisa Mazzaferro

Introduction

  • Cause: blunt trauma (eg HBC/RTA, kicks) or occasionally penetrating injuries to the abdomen.
  • Signs: can be sudden in onset (hemorrhagic shock) or more insidious.
  • The most serious consequence is hemorrhage, which may be life-threatening.
  • Diagnosis: may be problematical. A high incidence of suspicion of this condition should be maintained in traumatized animals.
  • Treatment: fluid therapy, oxygen administration, blood transfusion, partial or total splenectomy.
  • Prognosis: fair provided initial stabilization is successful and there are no other internal injuries.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Road traffic accidents or other blunt trauma (eg kicks) are the most common causes.
  • Many cats are targets of air guns. Occasionally these pellets may lacerate the spleen.

Pathophysiology

  • Rupture of the splenic parenchyma or avulsion of splenic blood vessels results in hemorrhage and hemoperitoneum.
  • Blood loss leads to hypoxemia Hypoxemia and hypovolemic shock Shock in severe cases.

Timecourse

  • Rapid if massive bleeding into the abdomen; progressive if there is a lesser degree of injury which nevertheless continues to bleed.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Vinayak A, Krahwinkel D J (2004) Managing blunt trauma-induced hemoperitoneum in dogs and cats. Comp Cont Educ Pract Vet 26 (4), 276 VetMedResource.
  • Spangler W L & Culbertson M R (1992) Prevalence and type of splenic diseases in cats - 455 cases (1985-1991). JAVMA 201 (5), 773-776 PubMed.


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