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May 10, 1947


Author Affiliations

Wood, Wis.

From the Veterans Hospital, Wood, Wis., and the Marquette University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1947;134(2):144-145. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.72880190001008

Infectious mononucleosis may sometimes be difficult to diagnose because of the vague and protean symptomatology which it presents. It may also be the cause on extremely infrequent occasions of a grave complication such as spontaneous rupture of the spleen. Because of more accurate hematologic studies, infectious mononucleosis as a disease entity is now being diagnosed more frequently and accurately than heretofore. Therefore, all complications which occur with the disease should be watched for carefully. Spontaneous rupture of the spleen should not be overlooked if the patient has abdominal symptoms which may be diagnostic of such an occurrence, especially since rupture of the spleen can terminate fatally. This case is being reported so that such spontaneous rupture may not go undiagnosed when symptoms present themselves. That this is a rare complication of infectious mononucleosis can be attested by the literature, in which only 12 cases have been reported to date,1

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