Enlarged Spleen (Splenomegaly) Causes

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

The spleen is an organ located in the upper left part of your abdomen under your rib cage, toward your back. It is part of the lymph system and it helps rid your body of bacteria and fight infection. The spleen may become enlarged (splenomegaly) due to many different causes.

Common causes of enlarged spleen include:

Other causes of enlarged spleen include:

In children, causes of enlarged spleen are usually the result of an overactive immune system response to infection, or immune system disorders.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care

REFERENCES:

UpToDate. Approach to the adult patient with splenomegaly and other splenic disorders.

UpToDate. Approach to the child with an enlarged spleen.

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