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Spleen 

Chapter:
Spleen
Author(s):

Jad M. Abdelsattar

, Moustafa M. El Khatib

, T. K. Pandian

, Samuel J. Allen

, and David R. Farley

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190650506.003.0016
Page of

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date: 09 May 2021

The spleen develops from mesoderm during the fifth week of gestation. Eighty-five percent of humans have 1 spleen, and 15% have accessory spleens. The spleen cleans the blood by trapping and breaking down dysfunctional or old red blood cells. Splenic problems most commonly arise with trauma, lymphoma, benign cysts, and hematologic disorders. Surgeons evaluate the spleen using plain radiography (CXR; kidney, ureter, bladder), CT, MRI, angiography, and nuclear studies. Open splenectomy for trauma or splenomegaly is at times dangerous and difficult with the need for speed, blood transfusion, and hemodynamic support. Potential early postoperative complications include abscess, pancreatic injury, pneumonia, and wound infection.

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