Fine needle aspiration of thoracic splenosis. A case report

Giuseppe Renne, Anna Coci, Tullio Biraghi, Corrado Schmid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Thoracic splenosis is a rare event, and fine needle aspiration (FNA) of a pleural implant of splenic tissue can be a pitfall when previous anamnestic data are ignored. CASE: A 53-year-old male underwent FNA of a left thoracic subpleural nodule high-ly suggestive of a metastatic lesion. The presence of a population of small and medium-sized lymphocytes suggested the possibility of lymphoproliferative disease; frozen sections confirmed this possibility. The final diagnosis was normal splenic tissue. Twenty-five years earlier the patient sustained a gunshot wound in the left side of the upper abdomen followed by splenectomy and drainage of the left pleural cavity because of mild, concomitant hemothorax. CONCLUSION: A left pleural thoracic nodule in subjects with a previous history of traumatic rupture of the spleen must be considered highly suggestive of thoracic splenosis. Scintigraphy with Tc 99m and magnetic resonance imaging are diagnostic, while FNA, especially in the absence of anamnestic data, can create a pitfall that can induce inappropiate removal of ectopic, normally functioning splenic tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-494
Number of pages3
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Aspiration biopsy
  • Splenosis
  • Thoracic neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology
  • Histology


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