CC BY 4.0 · Surg J (N Y) 2021; 07(02): e116-e120
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1731426
Case Report

Coincidence of Intra-Abdominal Splenosis in a Patient with Advanced Ovarian Cancer: Case Report and Review of the Literature

Tatjana Braun
1   Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany
Amelie De Gregorio
1   Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany
Lisa Baumann
2   Department of Pathology, University Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany
Jochen Steinacker
3   Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany
Wolfgang Janni
1   Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany
Nikolaus De Gregorio
1   Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Funding A.D.G. reports personal fees from Roche, Astra Zeneca, Tesaro, Clovis, and Pharma Mar, outside the submitted work.
W.J. reports personal fees from Novartis, Lilly, Roche, Pfizer, Astra Zeneca, and Daiichi, outside the submitted work.


Splenosis is a rare disease, which is often discovered incidentally years after surgical procedures on the spleen or traumatic splenic lesions. Through injury of the splenic capsule, splenic cells are able to spread and autoimplant in a fashion similar to the process of metastatic cancer. Here we present the case of a 62-year-old female patient with a palpable tumor of the lower abdomen. Her medical history was unremarkable, except for splenectomy after traumatic splenic lesion in her childhood. Clinical examination and diagnostic imaging raised the suspicion of advanced ovarian cancer, which was further substantiated by the typical presentation of adnexal masses and disseminated peritoneal metastases during the following staging laparotomy. Surprisingly, we also found peritoneal implants macroscopically similar to splenic tissue. Microscopic examination of tissue specimens by intrasurgical frozen section confirmed the diagnosis of intra-abdominal splenosis. The patient then underwent cytoreductive surgery with complete resection of all cancer manifestations, sparing the remaining foci of splenosis to avoid further morbidity. This case demonstrates the rare coincidence of intra-abdominal carcinoma and splenosis, which could lead to intraoperative difficulties by misinterpreting benign splenic tissue. Therefore, splenosis should be considered in patients with medical history of splenic lesions and further diagnostic imaging like Tc-99m-tagged heat-damaged RBC scan could be used for presurgical distinguishing between tumor spread in the abdominal cavity and disseminated splenosis. The presented case report should not only raise awareness for the rare disease splenosis, but also emphasize the need to consider the possibility of simultaneous incidence of benign and malignant intra-abdominal lesions, as to our knowledge this is the first published case of simultaneous peritoneal carcinomatosis and splenosis.


Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the case report.

Publication History

Received: 01 May 2020

Accepted: 25 March 2021

Article published online:
23 June 2021

© 2021. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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