Definition of Splenomegaly

Splenomegaly An enlarged spleen. Splenomegaly signals an underlying health condition and is not itself a disorder.

The spleen is a structure of lymphatic tissue. One of its key roles is to remove old or damaged blood cells from circulation.

Many circumstances and health conditions that cause increased numbers of blood cells in the circulation can also cause splenomegaly.

These range from systemic infections, such as infectious mononucleosis, to blood disorders, such as thrombocythemia, to cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma.

Some people feel a sense of uncomfortable fullness with splenomegaly, though most people are unaware of the condition until a doctor detects it.

There is no specific treatment; so treatment targets the underlying cause.

Splenomegaly significant enough to extend the spleen beyond the protective boundary of the rib cage presents a risk for injury resulting in hemorrhage, as the spleen contains about 4 percent of the body’s total blood volume and a third of its platelets (the cells responsible for clotting).

Conditions in Which Splennomegaly May Occur

CONDITIONS IN WHICH SPLENOMEGALY MAY OCCUR
AmyloidosisAnemia
CirrhosisCongestive heart failure
HepatitisLeishmaniasis
LeukemiaLeukopenia
LymphomaMalaria
Mononucleosis, infectiousMultiple Myeloma
MyelofibrosisPolycythemia vera
Portal hypertensionPsittacosis
SarcoidosisSickle cell disease
SyphilisSystemic lupus erythematosus (sle)
ThalassemiaThrombocythemia
ThrombocytopeniaTuberculosis

See also HEPATOMEGALYSPLENECTOMY.

Splenomegaly – Definition, Causes and Symptoms
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