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Asplenia

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Asplenia

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High Yield Notes
4 pages
Flashcards

Asplenia

7 flashcards
Questions

USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

1 questions
Preview

A 31-year-old man is brought to the emergency department by coworkers for stupor and unresponsiveness starting earlier in the day. He had been previously healthy until developing flu-like symptoms three days before admission. Past medical history is significant only for splenectomy, performed without complications ten years ago after traumatic rupture. His vital signs are as follows: temperature 39.9°C (103.8°F), pulse 160/min, respirations 28/min, and blood pressure 75/30 mm Hg. Physical examination shows central truncal flushing with peripheral coolness. Which of the following choices describes the pathogen that best explains his symptoms?

External References
Summary
Asplenia refers to the absence of normal spleen function and is associated with some serious infection risks. Hyposplenism is used to describe reduced splenic functioning, but not as severely affected as with asplenism. Asplenia is a form of immunodeficiency, increasing the risk of sepsis from polysaccharide encapsulated bacteria, and can result in overwhelming post-splenectomy infection, often fatal within a few hours. In particular, patients are at risk from Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and meningococcus. The risk is elevated as much as 350–fold. Increased platelet counts can be seen in individuals without a functioning spleen.