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February 1945


Arch Surg. 1945;50(2):87-88. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1945.01230030092007

Rupture of the spleen occurs, according to statistics, with 301 to 47.62 per cent of contusions of the abdominal viscera. In view of this relatively high frequency of the condition it is essential for every surgeon to be familiar with its signs and symptoms. Inasmuch as the mortality for ruptured spleen, ranging from 933 to 100 per cent,4 can be reduced by an operation to 10 per cent,4d it is self evident that early recognition of the injury is imperative, so that surgical intervention can be instituted without delay.

For practical purposes, two clinical pictures of traumatic rupture of the spleen may be distinguished:

1. The initial injury produces a rapidly progressive hemorrhage, with the following symptoms and signs, in descending order of frequency5: generalized abdominal pain, 100 per cent; tenderness, 95 per cent; rigidity, 85 per cent; shock, 65 per cent; dulness on