Hepatic subcapsular hematoma is an uncommon cause of right upper quadrant pain in the Emergency Department. It must be recognized early, as large volumes of acute blood loss and rupture into the peritoneum carry significant morbidity and mortality. In the absence of gallbladder disease, the differential diagnosis should include liver pathology. Bedside ultrasonography can be used to identify such lesions.
To discuss the presentation, evaluation, and management options of hepatic subcapsular hematoma.
We report a case of a 30-year-old woman who presented with the chief complaint of right upper quadrant pain radiating to the right scapula 6 h after a screening colonoscopy for intestinal polyps. Emergency physician-performed bedside ultrasound revealed a large hyperechoic mass in the right lobe of the liver. Radiology-performed comprehensive ultrasound and subsequent computed tomography scan of her abdomen and pelvis revealed a subcapsular hematoma without intestinal perforation.
In a patient with undifferentiated right upper quadrant abdominal pain, bedside ultrasonography is a rapid and effective modality in the diagnosis of liver masses, including subcapsular hematoma.
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Published online: July 15, 2013
Accepted: April 30, 2013
Received in revised form: March 12, 2013
Received: July 18, 2012
© 2013 Elsevier Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.