Hyposplenia

Date

2022

Authors

Patterson, Tyler
Ramirez, Cynthia
Park, Chanyang
Sabbaghi, Tiffany
Patel, Kavita
Fisher, Cara L.

ORCID

0000-0003-0257-3614 (Fisher, Cara L.)

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Abstract

Background: The spleen is the largest secondary lymphoid organ in the human body. It is an intraperitoneal organ, located in the left upper quadrant, posterior to the stomach and inferior to the diaphragm from the T8-T11 vertebral levels. The typical size of the spleen is 6 cm in width and 10 cm in length, with a depth length of 3 cm. Embryonically, it is derived from mesenchyme in the dorsal mesogastrium, and during fetal development in utero, the spleen transiently functions in the production of blood cells during fetal development. During adulthood, the spleen acts as a major repository for phagocytic cells, lymphocytes, and platelets, with a primary function of blood filtration. Hyposplenia is reduced size and function of the spleen. It is a condition that can complicate many diseases, such as sickle cell anemia, alcoholic liver disease, and many autoimmune disorders. Functional hyposplenia is characterized mostly by defective immune responses against pathogens. This cadaver case report presents the clinical condition of hyposplenia. Case Information: First-year medical students engage in anatomy courses in which routine cadaver dissections are performed. An abnormally small spleen was found in the upper abdominal cavity of a 66-year-old female. The donor presenting with the hyposplenia outlined in this case report passed from acute liver failure of uncertain etiology, chronic kidney disease, and peripheral artery disease. A typical spleen as compared to the cadaver's spleen indicated the cadaver's spleen was drastically reduced in size. The donor's spleen measured 2.72 cm in width and 4.38 cm in length, with a depth of 1.39 cm. Conclusions: In contrast to splenomegaly, the clinical determinant of a small spleen, hyposplenia, is unclear. However, there are potential causes for the spleen's size to decrease. Exposure to radiation, sickle cell disease, diabetes and chronic alcoholism are all hypotheses for this change in size. Patients with a defect in Kupffer cell function in relation to alcoholism have a predisposition to hyposplenism. In this case, the donor had the pathologies of diabetes and liver disease. The cause of death of acute liver failure of uncertain etiology could have been linked to the consumption of alcoholic beverages and their effects on the liver, as well as the effect on the Kupffer cells in the spleen.

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