Enlarged Spleen (Splenomegaly) (cont.)

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Can an enlarged spleen be prevented?

Splenomegaly is a complication of an underlying disease or illness and in itself cannot be prevented. Ideally, early recognition of an enlarged spleen may help the health care practitioner come to an early diagnosis as to the cause and perhaps prevent further spleen enlargement.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for an enlarged spleen?

Depending upon the cause, the enlarged spleen may return to normal size and function when the underlying disease is treated or resolved.

  • Commonly, in infectious mononucleosis, the spleen returns to normal as the infection gets better.
  • In some circumstances, removing the spleen is part of the treatment, but it can make the person much more susceptible to infections.
  • Many illnesses and diseases result with the enlarged spleen as a permanent physical finding and may result in only a fair prognosis because the person may be more prone to splenic injury, infections, and abnormal bleeding.

Reviewed by Venkatachala Mohan, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Gastroenterology


eMedicine.com; "Splenomegaly."

Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. Braumwald E, Fauci AS, et al. 17th Edition. 2007. McGraw Hill.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/2/2013

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