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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 130-132

Splenic abscess: A rare complication of scrub typhus in a child

1 Department of Pediatrics, Advanced Pediatrics Centre, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Radiodiagnosis, Advanced Pediatrics Centre, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lesa Dawman
Department of Pediatrics, Advanced Pediatrics Centre, PGIMER, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipcares.ipcares_58_21

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Background: Scrub typhus is endemic in the various parts of the world and especially in the Indian subcontinent. Splenic infarcts and abscess are largely unknown in scrub typhus. These can be a source of persistent abdominal pain in the left hypochondriac region. Clinical Description: A 9-year-old child presented with a 7-day history of fever, loose stools, respiratory distress, and abdominal pain. On examination, she was febrile, had tachypnea, tachycardia, pallor, and facial puffiness. Systemic examination showed pleural effusion and hepatomegaly. Acute febrile illness with third spacing led to differentials of tropical infections (dengue, scrub typhus, enteric fever, and malaria). Management: Dengue, enteric fever, and malaria were ruled out on investigations. Scrub IgM enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was positive. Ultrasound of the abdomen showed multiple splenic anechoic lesions suggestive of abscesses. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) confirmed the findings. Ultrasonography-guided aspiration of the lesion revealed blood-stained pus. The gram stain was negative, and culture was sterile. The final diagnosis was scrub typhus with splenic abscess. Her symptoms resolved with doxycycline therapy. Conclusion: Involvement of the spleen resulting in infarct and abscess is a rare complication in scrub typhus and can lead to persisting abdominal symptoms. Splenic infarction is not a well-known complication in patients of scrub typhus; hence, it may lead to under diagnosis of the condition. An abdominal ultrasound or if required, CT scan of the abdomen might be needed in cases with persistent abdominal symptoms to rule out this rare complication.

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