OBJECTIVE: Human brucellosis is a zoonosis with an extremely wide spectrum of clinical manifestations. Focal splenic involvement is very uncommon, particularly in the pediatric age group, during the illness’ acute phase.
CASE REPORT: A 4-year-old boy, already receiving third-generation cephalosporin treatment, was transferred from a local hospital to the University Pediatric Department for fever, anemia, increased inflammation index, and multiple, hyper-echogenic splenic lesions on abdominal ultrasound. Initial diagnostic laboratory investigations for Brucella infection, including the Widal-Wright test, were found to be negative. However, further diagnostic laboratory analysis using the chemiluminescent immunoassay was positive for Brucella IgM antibodies. Treatment with rifampicin at a dose of 150 mg/Kg/twice daily and co-trimethoprim at a dose of 80 mg/Kg/twice daily was started and continued for 7 weeks. IgM antibodies were undetectable after 2 weeks of treatment, and after 6 weeks of treatment, abdominal ultrasound documented a reduction of the diameter of the major splenic infiltrate from 1 to 0.5 cm. At 3 and 5 months of follow-up, re-evaluation of the abdominal lesions displayed complete resolution of the splenic lesions and a complete clinical recovery.
CONCLUSIONS: The present case and a literature review are presented in this study since a standard diagnostic laboratory evaluation for brucellosis may miss the diagnosis, and in suspected cases, the laboratory analysis should be extended. Splenic abscesses are known to be rare in brucellosis, but the diagnosis should be considered in children with severe focal lesions, as specific antibiotic treatment may result in complete clinical recovery.
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P. Pavone, C. Gulizia, S. D’Amico, P. Grassi, G. La Rosa, R. Leotta, A. Basile, S. Palmucci, P.V. Foti, G. Belfiore, L. Marino, G.F. Pellicanò, G. Pulvirenti
Splenic abscesses in childhood brucellosis: a case-based review
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 26 - N. 13