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Hypersplenism

Definition

Hypersplenism is an overactive spleen. The spleen is an organ found in the upper left side of your belly area. The spleen helps filter old and damaged cells from your bloodstream. If your spleen is overactive, it removes the blood cells too early and too quickly.

The spleen plays a key role in helping your body fight infections. Problems with the spleen can make you more likely to develop infections.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Hypersplenism can be caused by:

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Enlarged spleen
  • Low level of one or more types of blood cells
  • Feeling full too soon after eating
  • Stomach pain on the left side

References

Ferri FF, ed. Diseases and Disorders. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2012: section 1.

Connell NT, Shurin SB, Schiffman FJ. The Spleen and It's Disorders In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, Heslop HE, Weitz JI, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice.6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 162.


Review Date: 1/22/2013
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Palm Beach Cancer Institute, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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