Enlarged Spleen (Splenomegaly) - Cause

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What was the cause of your enlarged spleen?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black triangle:

What are the causes of an enlarged spleen?

The spleen enlarges if it is asked to do excessive work in filtering or manufacturing blood cells, if there is abnormal blood flow to it, or if it is invaded with abnormal cells or deposits.

Abnormal red blood cells: Since the spleen filters abnormal blood cells and removes them from the circulatory system, diseases that result in abnormal red cells will cause the spleen to enlarge. Sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and spherocytosis are examples of diseases that form unusually shaped cells that cannot easily maneuver through the small blood vessels and capillaries of the body. If they are not removed by the spleen, these abnormal cells can cause blood clots and decrease circulation. Removing then causes the spleen stress, which causes it to enlarge, however.

Viral and bacterial infection: The spleen is involved in making cells that fight infection and part of that response is to enlarge. This is commonly seen in viral infections such as infectious mononucleosis (caused by the Epstein Barr virus), AIDS and viral hepatitis. Examples of bacterial infections associated with splenomegaly include tuberculosis, malaria, and anaplasmosis (formerly known as ehrlichiosis).

Splenic vein pressure/blockage: Blood enters the spleen through the splenic artery and leaves through the splenic vein. If the pressure within the vein increases or if the splenic vein becomes blocked, blood cannot leave the spleen and it may swell. Because of the relationship to liver blood flow, cirrhosis and portal vein obstruction can cause complications with venous blood flow from the spleen. Congestive heart failure may cause both the liver and spleen to swell because of increased venous pressure.

Cancers: Leukemias and both Hodgkins and non-Hodgkins lymphoma can cause the spleen to enlarge, as can a variety of other tumors including melanomas.

Metabolic disease: Metabolic diseases that enlarge the spleen include Niemann-Pick disease, Gaucher disease, and Hurler syndrome.

Return to Enlarged Spleen (Splenomegaly)

See what others are saying

Comment from: worrying_sister, 25-34 Male (Caregiver) Published: July 12

My brother has been admitted into the hospital last week because his body temperature was kept increased after 3 days. They made an ultrasound and MRI scan and found this splenomegaly. They took the blood test and did not find anything abnormal with the blood cells. He's now transferred to another hospital for a second opinion. I live abroad, so I can't see how he's doing. My mum told me that his temperature went down after he took the medicine but increase again afterwards. Does anybody experience this? Thanks a lot.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Painful & Lethargic, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 08

My enlarged spleen is the result of a mononucleosis (Epstein Barr) infection. I am 29 years old, and was unaware that mono was such a threat to people outside of their teens and early twenties. I currently work in the medical field and suspect that I acquired the virus as a result of my occupation. I have not been drinking after others or kissing! Hoping my spleen (and energy level) returns to normal soon!

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Stay Informed!

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox FREE!