Splenomegaly is an enlargement of the spleen. The spleen usually lies in the left upper quadrant (LUQ) of the human abdomen.
Symptoms: Symptoms may include abdominal pain, chest pain, chest pain similar to pleuritic pain when stomach, bladder or bowels are full, back pain, early satiety due to splenic encroachment, or the symptoms of anemia due to accompanying cytopenia.
Causes: The most common causes of splenomegaly in developed countries are infectious mononucleosis, splenic infiltration with cancer cells from a hematological malignancy and portal hypertension.
Diagnosis: CT scanning, other imaging tests which can help in evaluating splenomegaly include ultrasound of the abdomen, angiography, and liver-spleen scans.
Treament: Patients undergoing splenectomy should be vaccinated against Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Meningococcus. They should also receive annual influenza vaccinations. Long-term prophylactic antibiotics may be given in certain cases. In cases of infectious mononucleosis splenomegaly is a common symptom and health care providers may consider using abdominal ultrasonography.
Epidemology: one large series reported a palpable spleen in 2% of patients, and another, in 5.6% of patients.Tropical splenomegaly syndrome has the highest predilection for indigenous persons of and visitors to the malarial belt of tropical Africa.