Enlargement of the spleen beyond its normal size.
Organ or part of body involved:
Symptoms and indications:
Enlarged spleen, which can be felt by palpating the abdomen. Other symptoms, depending on the cause.
Causes and risk factors:
Some of the causes of splenomegaly include:
Cirrhosis of the liver – which can increase the blood pressure inside the vessels of the spleen.
Cystic fibrosis – a genetic disorder, characterised by excessive mucus production, particularly in the lungs and pancreas.
Cytomegalovirus – a common viral infection that causes mild, flu-like symptoms.
Glandular fever – an infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus.
Haemolytic anaemias such as thalassaemia, a genetic disorder that affects the production of the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells (haemoglobin).
Hodgkin’s disease – cancer of the lymphatic system.
Leukaemia – cancer of the bone marrow that affects the blood cells.
Lymphoma – cancer of the lymph nodes of the lymphatic system.
Malaria – a parasite transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes.