An enlarged spleen (splenomegaly) is not a disease in itself but the result of an underlying disorder. Many disorders can make the spleen enlarge. To pinpoint the cause, doctors must consider disorders ranging from chronic infections to blood cancers.
Most commonly, an enlarged spleen is due to a viral infection, such as mononucleosis. But in some cases, more serious diseases such as cancer can cause the spleen to expand.
To start the diagnostic process, tour doctor will first ask you questions about your recent medical history to determine if the symptoms you experience are the result of an enlarged spleen or if they are caused by the underlying problems, such as fever or signs of an infectious disease. The doctor will also perform a thorough physical exam of your abdomen. To check for an enlarged spleen, doctors tap along the left upper quadrant of your abdomen and touch the area just under the rib cage.
Diagnostic tests for spleen disorders include:
Although an enlarged spleen usually does not present many clear symptoms, check with your doctor anytime you experience pain in the left upper section of your abdomen. Diagnosis is the first step towards identifying possible illnesses that can cause an enlarged spleen. Keep reading to learn more about how to treat a swollen spleen.
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