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Reticuloendothelial System: The Basics 

Reticuloendothelial System: The Basics
Chapter:
Reticuloendothelial System: The Basics
Author(s):

Jenny X. Qian

, and Bradley B. Pua

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190276249.003.0046
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date: 18 October 2019

The spleen is the largest organ of the reticuloendothelial system and the largest lymphoid organ. Derived from embryologic mesoderm, it is a solid, intraperitoneal organ situated in the left upper abdomen, lateral and slightly posterior to the stomach. Long thought to be a superfluous structure, the spleen is now known to play a major role in immunity, as asplenic patients are predisposed to sepsis from encapsulated organisms. It is also an important reservoir for platelets, monocytes, and erythrocytes, and it performs the vital function of filtering the blood to remove senescent or abnormal cells, as well as circulating debris. Its ability to perform these functions is closely tied to the microarchitecture of both its red- and white-pulp components. In addition, the spleen plays an important role in the development of many diseases, and may be secondarily involved or, more rarely, the primary site of malignant neoplasms such as lymphoma.

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