The importance of the histopathological examination in establishing the diagnosis of delayed splenic rupture. Report of a case and literature review

Vol. 60 No. 1, 2019


Camelia Liana Buhas, Gabriel Constantin Mihalache, Claudia Teodora Judea-Pusta, Lucia Georgeta Daina, Gabriela Mutiu, Bogdan Adrian Buhas, Amorin Remus Popa, Maria Claudia Jurca, Nicolae Dumitru Nicoara, Adrian Marius Maghiar

In forensic activity, splenic ruptures occur frequently in cases involving abdominal trauma due to road traffic collision, strokes, falls and work accidents. Splenic lesions can occur either immediately after the trauma or within variable timeframes after it, the last scenario being the case of a delayed splenic rupture. Delayed splenic rupture is ranked third in abdominal traumatology frequency, after liver and intestine rupture. Delayed splenic rupture is more frequently the result of abdominal contusions or compressions, rather than the result of direct wounds located in the left flank. In the first stage, an intraparenchymatous hematoma is formed. The second stage occurs within a variable timeframe (between two days and one month), either spontaneously or following a second trauma, when the capsule ruptures leading to secondary peritoneal hemorrhage. In order to correctly determine the chronology of splenic lesions, histopathological (HP) investigations have an important role to play. The presence of hemosiderin highlighted by Hematoxylin-Eosin (HE) staining or special stainings, confirms the diagnosis of delayed splenic rupture. This study will present the case of a 55-year-old male from the countryside, a chronic alcohol consumer, animal care provider, who suffered multiple traumatic injuries four days prior to his death. He was found lying on the ground, presenting an open craniocerebral trauma (CCT) with a bleeding wound on the scalp. The autopsy showed CCT with meningeal hemorrhage and subdural hematoma, along with a splenic rupture presumably produced in two stages. The HP investigations did not reveal the presence of hemosiderin in the tested specimen samples. Using this scientific diagnostic criterion, it was thus confirmed that the splenic rupture occurred after the aggression, in another traumatic stage, the same one where the other thanatogenerator lesions occurred, as a result of the victim s collapse from the same level and hitting the planes with irregular surfaces.

Corresponding author: Claudia Teodora Judea-Pusta, Lecturer, MD, PhD; e-mail:; Lucia Georgeta Daina, Assistant Professor, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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