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NBME 20 Answers

nbme20/Block 2/Question#14

A 23-year-old woman has had fever, hypotension, and ...

Streptococcus pneumoniae

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submitted by monoloco(58),

Encapsulated organisms run rampant in patients who have no spleen, whether physically or functionally. (Recall the wide-array of sequalae sickle cell patients experience thanks to their functional autosplenectomy.)

sympathetikey  Agreed -- went with E. Coli like a dingus, just because I didn't associate DIC with S. Pneumo. Thought it was too easy. +  
chillqd  Isn't E. Coli also an encapsulated organism? What makes Strep pneumo more likely in this question just because its the more common cause? +2  
studentdo  Pseudomonas aeruginosa is encapsulated as well. I think the right answer has to do with DIC but why? +1  
mgoyo89  The only reason i found was S. pneumo is more common, I went with Pseudomonas because of the "overwhelming sepsis" :( +  
kard  Everyone is correct about the Encapsulated microbes, but this is one of those of "MOST LIKELY", and by far the most likely is S.Pneumo>>H.infl>N.Mening. (omitting that patients with history of splenectomy must be vaccinated. +  

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submitted by yotsubato(293),

This question is bullshit. The woman would most likely be vaccinated to Strep pneumo, especially if she had a splenectomy.

E coli is also an encapsulated bacterium that causes pneumonia, so that is more likely IMO.

sugaplum  I agree with you, only possible logic for their answer: the qualifier asplenic makes the "ShIN" pathogens more likely, even though Ecoli can cause gram negative sepsis and DIC. FA 2019 pg 127 Also it says s pneumo causes sepsis specifically in asplenic patients Pg 136 +  
lmfaoayeitslit  To be honest, the only reason I got this right (because I really was thinking E.Coli as well), is that I ended up remembering the MOPS part of the Sketchy, and I couldn't remember if he said that it was the number 1 cause of all of them or not, and ended up clicking it. It's pretty shitty they don't offer explanations for these. +  

"However, in the years, the bacterial pattern of splenectomy sepsis have been changing. The most important capsulated pathogen is Streptococcus pneumoniae (Str. Pneumoniae), but Haemophilus influenza (H.Influenzae) and Neisseria meningitidis (N. meningitidis) are also significant. In a study of 1991,36 reporting 349 episodes of sepsis in patients with asplenia, 57% of infections and 59% of deaths were caused by Str. pneumoniae." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4621170/

honestly i tried to find data to support E.Coli or any higher risk of gram - sepsis, but pneumo is still numero uno