Renal angiomyolipoma: with Wunderlich syndrome

Case contributed by Dr Rishikesan Ramaesh


Presented to the emergency department with sudden onset of pain in left flank, back and abdomen. On examination, she appeared in shock with cool extremities. Her abdomen was soft but tender generally with guarding in upper left quadrant. Vital signs: HR: 110, RR: 30 She had a negative FAST scan.

Patient Data

Age: 70
Gender: Female

There is a large left retroperitoneal haematoma with active bleeding from a left renal tumour measuring  9 x 7 x 6.5 cm. The tumour has a large fatty component with abnormal vascularity,compatible with a large angiomyolipoma. Haemoperitoneum is also noted adjacent to spleen

Case Discussion

This patient underwent embolization of the bleeding tumour by the interventional radiologist. She was admitted to ITU following this and received three units of red cells. The follow-up CT scan demonstrated a successful embolization procedure with a resolving retroperitoneal haematoma. 

Wunderlich syndrome is a rare cause of intra-abdominal haemorrhagic shock. Due to the retroperitoneal extravasation of blood, the FAST scan can be negative and falsely reassuring. Furthermore, as in this instance, the patient may have no previous medical history prior to the acute presentation with shock.

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Case information

rID: 33008
Case created: 25th Dec 2014
Last edited: 20th Apr 2016
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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