Splenectomized patients are likely to suffer from severe infections, such as sepsis and meningitis. This syndrome is called overwhelming postsplenectomy infection (OPSI) in Europe and America. The course is rapid, the clinical symptoms are serious, and the prognosis is very poor. We treated one adult patient with OPSI syndrome that developed 10 years after splenectomy. Case: A 26-year-old man had undergone a splenectomy following a traffic accident 10 years previously. On January 7, 1996, he had diarrhea and nausea. On January 10, he became drowsy and presented at our hospital with multiple organ failure. He underwent hemodialysis and plasmapheresis because of acute renal failure and also received immue globulin, antibiotics and prednisolone. However, these medications were not effective. He died 7 hours later. We identified diplococcus on a blood smear, IgG 3 deficiency and a low titer of specific pneumococcal IgG 2 antibody. The autopsy findings in cluded bilateral acute hemorrhagic necrosis of the adrenal glands (Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome).
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