A Case of Autosplenectomy in Sickle Cell Trait Following an Exposure to High Altitude.Wilderness Environ Med 2018; 29(1):85-89WE
A 24-year-old man presented with acute abdominal pain upon ascent to moderate altitude (3500 m). An immediate evaluation revealed a splenic infarct, and he was evacuated to sea level. Upon recovery, he was sent back to 3500 m without detailed etiological evaluation, whereupon he experienced recurrent episodes of left-side subcostal pain. Imaging suggested autosplenectomy, and workup revealed a negative thrombophilia profile but was positive for sickle cell trait (SCT). Individuals with SCT can be asymptomatic until exposure to severe hypoxia, upon which they can manifest clinically as sickle cell syndrome. We discuss the rare presentation of autosplenectomy in a patient with previously undiagnosed SCT on exposure to high altitude.