Among the surgical complications of intravenous drug addiction, pyogenic splenic abscess is considered to be a rare entity. A review of the literature reveals only 24 cases of splenic abscess secondary to this particular etiology. The authors report five patients with intravenous drug addiction who underwent splenectomy for pyogenic splenic abscess within 1 year. Fever and abdominal pain were the only constant physical signs. Three patients had associated infective endocarditis, and the other two patients sustained blunt trauma to the left side of the trunk weeks earlier. Computed tomography (CT) and ultrasound were diagnostic in all five patients preoperatively, and they were complementary when combined. Four of the five patients had Staphylococcus aureus septicemia at the time of splenectomy. Three patients recovered from their operations, and the other two, both with endocarditis, died postoperatively from causes unrelated to splenic abscess and splenectomy. A high index of suspicion is warranted in this susceptible group of patients with vague abdominal signs and persistent sepsis to rule out splenic suppuration. The noninvasive imaging methods, CT scan and ultrasound, facilitate early diagnosis in these patients.
View details for Web of Science ID A1987H551200010
View details for PubMedID 3579050