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Splenic rupture: a rare complication of infectious mononucleosis

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A 28-year-old man presented to the emergency department with acute left upper quadrant tenderness and postural hypotension. He reported having had fever and cervical tenderness for 1 week before his presentation.

Blood tests showed an elevated white cell count with reactive lymphocytosis. A test for infectious mononucleosis heterophile antibody was positive, consistent with recent infection.

A contrast scan of the abdomen showed splenomegaly with subcapsular haematoma.

Splenic rupture after infectious mononucleosis is rare (incidence, 0.1%–0.5%), but can have disastrous consequences if overlooked.1,2