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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


Hypersplenism

Definition

Hypersplenism is an overactive spleen. The spleen is an organ found in the upper left side of your abdomen. The spleen helps filter old and damaged cells from your bloodstream. If your spleen is overactive, it removes the blood cells too early and too quickly.

The spleen plays a key role in helping your body fight infections. Problems with the spleen can make you more likely to develop infections.

Causes

Common causes of hypersplenism include:

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Enlarged spleen
  • Low level of one or more types of blood cells
  • Feeling full too soon after eating
  • Stomach pain on the left side

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Spleen

References

Connell NT, Shurin SB, Schiffman FJ. The spleen and its disorders. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, Heslop HE, Weitz JI, Anastasi J, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2013:chap 162.

Ferri FF. Hyperspleenism. In: Ferri FF, ed. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2016. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:665.