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Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Spleen Forum

Pain from an enlarged spleen

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I have relapsed with mono and my spleen is swollen again and it causes sharp pains when I breath...I experienced this pain for one night the first time I had mono. This time however, it is more severe and I'm thinking about going to the hospital. My question is, can they even do anything for me? Or should I just wait it out....because I really don't want to make an unnecessary trip to the hospital right now.


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replied April 21st, 2010
Spleen Answer A11372
Hi and welcome to the forum! I am glad that I can help you.

You want to know when you should go to the hospital when experiencing pain in the left abdomen under the rib cage due to an enlarged spleen.

The spleen is an organ that is sensitive and problematic to a physical exam. It becomes enlarged during acute or chronic infections such as mononucleosis, etc, but can become enlarged during certain kinds of hematological medical conditions such as hypersplenism, talasemia, etc. If the spleen is being examined physically while it is enlarged, there is a great risk for sudden spontaneous rupture of this organ that leads to internal blood loss and possible cardiogenic shock.

Given the data that you described, it seems likely that you are experiencing an enlarged spleen due to mononucleosis. Go to the hospital immediately if you are experiencing stabbing severe pain in the left abdomen under the rib cage, combined with additional symptoms such as dizziness, cold sweating and fainting. Avoid pressing on the area to ease the pain because you may provoke a spontaneous rupture of the spleen.

Please keep in mind that I provide medical information only. I am not able to diagnose medical conditions online. Please contact your doctor for further advice and information about diagnosis and treatment options.


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