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Enlarged Spleen

  • Enlarged spleen

    A wide variety of diseases are associated with splenomegaly, or enlargement of the spleen, with many of the mechanisms leading to this condition being exaggerated forms of normal spleen function. The spleen is a functionally diverse organ with active roles in immunosurveillance and hematopoiesis. The normal spleen is usually not palpable, although it can sometimes be palpated in adolescents and individuals with a slender build. However, an enlarged or palpable spleen is not necessarily of clinical significance. In many instances, the spleen enlarges as it performs its normal functions.

  • Enlarged spleen


    The associated symptoms or signs are typically related to the underlying disorder and may include the following:

    • Febrile illness
    • History of liver disease
    •  Dyspnea
    • Alcoholism, hepatitis
    • Weight loss
    • Pancreatitis
  • Enlarged spleen

    Diagnosis and Treatment

    The differential diagnosis is performed to sort out other conditions contributing to the disorder such as Leishmaniasis, Malaria, Myeloproliferative disease, Portal vein obstruction, Schistosomiasis, Bacterial sepsis, Sickle cell anemia etc.The CT scand and biopsy are also performed to check out the disease. Successful medical treatment of the primary disorder in cases of splenomegaly can lead to regression of the hypersplenism without the need for surgery. Low-dose radiotherapy has been used as palliative care for splenomegaly in patients with hematologic disorders.

  • Epidemology

    In the United States, one large series reported a palpable spleen in 2% of patients, and another, in 5.6% of patients. No race predilection is recognized for splenomegaly. No age predilection is recognized for splenomegaly. Nonetheless, the capsules of older spleens are much thinner than their younger counterparts. The combination of capsular thinning with increased spleen weight and size makes splenic injury more common in elderly persons.

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