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01.12.2012 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

World Journal of Surgical Oncology 1/2012

Spontaneous splenic rupture in patient with metastatic melanoma treated with vemurafenib

World Journal of Surgical Oncology > Ausgabe 1/2012
Elisa Castellani, Piero Covarelli, Carlo Boselli, Roberto Cirocchi, Antonio Rulli, Francesco Barberini, Daniela Caracappa, Carla Cini, Jacopo Desiderio, Gloria Burini, Giuseppe Noya
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1477-7819-10-155) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors state that none of the authors involved in the manuscript preparation has any conflicts of interest regarding the manuscript itself, neither financial nor moral conflicts. Furthermore, none of the authors received support in the form of grants, equipment, and/or pharmaceutical items.

Authors’ contributions

All authors contributed equally to this work, read, and approved the final manuscript.



BRAF inhibitors such as vemurafenib are a new family of biological drugs, recently available to treat metastatic malignant melanoma.


We present the case of a 38-year-old man affected by metastatic melanoma who had been under treatment with vemurafenib for a few days. The patient suffered from sudden onset of abdominal pain due to intra-abdominal hemorrhage with profuse hemoperitoneum. An emergency abdominal sonography confirmed the clinical suspicion of a splenic rupture.


The intraoperative finding was hemoperitoneum due to splenic two-step rupture and splenectomy was therefore performed. Histopathology confirmed splenic hematoma and capsule laceration, in the absence of metastasis.


This report describes the occurrence of a previously unreported adverse event in a patient with stage IV melanoma receiving vemurafenib.
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