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Splenic infarction after colonoscopy: direct complication or unhappy coincidence?

Gastroenterology & Hepatology: Open Access
Bruno Augusto Alves Martins,1 Iulia Anael Rocha Ferreira,2 Paulo Gonçalves de Oliveira,3 João Batista de Sousa3


Introduction: Splenic infarction is a condition that occurs when the splenic artery or one of its branches become occluded and it may be rarely caused by abdominal procedures. We report the case of a 66-year-old male patient who presented splenic infarction after screening colonoscopy.

Case report: A 66-year-old male patient presented to the emergency department with a 6-day history of acute onset of the abdominal pain. The complaint initiated after screening colonoscopy. CT scan revealed signs of splenic infarction. Patient presented uneventful recovery with supportive care. Subsequent investigations revealed the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation.

Discussion: Splenic infarction typically manifests as abdominal pain in the upper left quadrant. Atrial fibrillation seems to be the main cause of embolic events that result in infarction of the spleen. In the present report, symptoms started after a colonoscopy what raises the possibility of a causal link between the endoscopic procedure and the splenic infarction.


splenic infarction, colonoscopy, endoscopy, heart disease, blood pressure, antibiotics, analgesics, antiemetics