splenomegaly
/splee'neuh meg"euh lee, splen'euh-/, n. Pathol.
enlargement of the spleen.
Also, splenomegalia /splee'noh meuh gay"lee euh, -gayl"yeuh, splen'oh-/.
[1895-1900; SPLENO- + -MEGALY]

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      enlargement of the spleen, the abdominal organ that serves as a temporary storage site for blood and filters out degenerated and old blood cells. Splenomegaly may arise as a symptom of a number of diseases, including certain systemic infections, inflammatory diseases, hematologic diseases, inherited spleen disorders, cysts, and neoplastic diseases. In one form of the disorder, called congestive splenomegaly, the spleen becomes engorged with blood because of impaired flow through the splenic vein, which empties into the portal vein. Such impairment may be caused by liver disease, portal vein or splenic vein pathology, constrictive pericarditis, or congestive cardiac failure.

      Depending on the underlying cause, the spleen may swell to as much as 80 times its normal size. Massive splenomegaly can place a heavy burden on the heart and circulatory system; the enlarged spleen may absorb more than half the cardiac output, whereas the normal spleen absorbs only 5 percent. In addition, splenomegaly often causes an increase in the volume of blood plasma, which, in conjunction with increased retention of red blood cells in the spleen, may result in anemia.

      Once the underlying disease is treated, the spleen may return to its normal size and functions. Surgical removal (splenectomy) may be required if the spleen is seriously damaged.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Splenomegaly — Classification and external resources ICD 10 Q89.0, R16.1 ICD 9 …   Wikipedia

  • splenomegaly — enlargement of the spleen, 1900, from spleno , comb. form of Gk. splen (see SPLEEN (Cf. spleen)) + megas great (fem. megale; see MICKLE (Cf. mickle)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • splenomegaly — [splē΄nə meg′ə lē, splen′əmeg′ə lē] n. [ModL: see SPLENO , MEGALO & Y3] enlargement of the spleen …   English World dictionary

  • splenomegaly —    For practical purposes a term interchangeable with splenitis, since neither will have the usual symptoms associated with inflammation. Splenomegaly is often associated with viral hepatitis, mononucleosis, typhoid fever and abnormally high… …   Herbal-medical glossary

  • splenomegaly — noun (plural lies) Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary Date: circa 1900 abnormal enlargement of the spleen …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • splenomegaly — noun An enlargement of the spleen …   Wiktionary

  • Splenomegaly — Enlargement of the spleen. * * * spleno·meg·a·ly .splen ō meg ə lē n, pl lies abnormal enlargement of the spleen * * * n. enlargement of the spleen. It most commonly occurs in malaria, schistosomiasis, and other disorders caused by parasites; in… …   Medical dictionary

  • splenomegaly — n. abnormal enlargement of the spleen (Medicine) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • splenomegaly — [ˌspli:nə(ʊ) mɛg(ə)li] noun abnormal enlargement of the spleen. Origin early 20th cent.: from splen + Gk megas, megal great …   English new terms dictionary

  • splenomegaly — spleno·meg·a·ly …   English syllables

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