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Bleeding and Clotting Disorders

Enlarged spleen

11/07/2007

Question:

My granddaughter has Hereditary Spherocytosis. Her spleen has been enlarged off and on through the 5 years of her life. About 7 weeks ago her spleen was the size of and adults. She has been on playground and P.E. restriction. It is now two fingers below her rib cage.

How dangerous is this and what are the signs of rupture?

Answer:

It's hard to say exactly what the risk of rupture is, but the main concern is trauma that could cause a splenic rupture. Pain is the most likely symptom to be seen, and it would likely be severe in the case of a splenic rupture or injury. Splenectomies are done for patients with enlarged spleens that are causing pain or discomfort, or when the patient has a severe anemia.

However, sometimes doctors like to wait as long as possible to do splenectomies in children. As I am not a pediatrician, I cannot say much more. I would suggest that these issues be raised with her physician to get you and the family more information and to learn the options.

For more information:

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Response by:

Spero R Cataland, MD Spero R Cataland, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University