• Vol. 37 No. 9, 749–752
  • 15 September 2008

Ten-year Series of Splenic Abscesses in a General Hospital in Singapore

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: Splenic abscess is an uncommon clinical problem. Traditionally, the “gold standard” treatment has been splenectomy. However, there is increasing use of non-operative treatments worldwide.

Materials and Methods: A 10-year (1996-2005) retrospective review of case records from a single centre (an 800-bed general hospital) was performed. Information regarding demographics, clinical presentation, aetiological agents and management was gathered and analysed.

Results: There were 21 cases from 1996 to 2005. Nineteen (90%) had multiple abscesses. Disseminated melioidosis was the most common aetiological agent (15 cases, 71%). Only 3 patients underwent splenectomy. The remainder were treated conservatively with antibiotics. Almost all the patients (19, 90%) also suffered from diabetes mellitus.

Conclusions: The most common aetiological agent encountered was Burkholderia pseudomallei. Diabetes mellitus may be an important co-factor in the pathogenesis of splenic abscesses. The majority of our patients were managed conservatively and splenectomy was only occasionally required.


Splenic abscess is an uncommon clinical problem. Fewer than 800 cases have been reported in the literature.

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