One of the most important soldiers employed by the immune system, to fight against diseases, is the spleen. It is located on the left side of the body, below the rib cage. Pathogens such as encapsulated bacteria and waste products in the blood are removed by this organ. It is also involved in the production of antibodies and red blood cells in the body. Immature blood cells travel through this organ and reach their maturity level. Even those cells, which have become seasoned and old, are removed by it.
What is the Normal Size of Spleen in Adults and Children?
The spleen of a healthy adult measures about 4 inches and weighs about 5.3 oz. to 7.1 oz. However, this organ varies in shape and size from person to person. But, generally, it is of the size of a fist. In children, the size would be smaller than that of adults, and it would also vary between different kids.
The table below furnishes the values of the normal size of this organ (as detected by ultrasound) between the age group of 0 - 20 years.
|Age||Spleen Size (in cm) (less than or equal to)|
|0 - 3 months||6|
|3 - 6 months||6.5|
|6 - 12 months||7|
|1 - 2 years||8|
|2 - 4 years||9|
|4 - 6 years||9.5|
|6 - 8 years||10|
|8 - 10 years||11|
|10 - 12||11.5|
|12 - 15 years||12|
|15 - 20 years||12 (for females) and 13 (for males)|
'Splenomegaly' is a term that is used to describe a condition in which the spleen increases in size due to certain infections, liver disease, or certain types of cancer. In other words, the condition is known as spleen enlargement. An enlarged spleen can be felt by a doctor during a routine medical exam but a normal-sized spleen cannot be felt. However, if the patient is too slender then his/her spleen can be felt even if it is not enlarged.
Symptoms Associated with an Enlarged Spleen
In some cases, the condition remains asymptomatic, which means that it does not show any symptoms. However, in some, the commonly observed symptoms include:
☛ Since this organ is located on the left side of the body, the sufferer feels a sort of fullness in that area when it gets enlarged. This may be accompanied by pain.
☛ The affected person may feel full after eating a small amount of food or even without eating. This happens because the spleen may be pressing against the stomach.
☛ Other symptoms include easy bleeding, anemia, tiredness, and frequent infections.
If the spleen is affected due to a bacterial infection, then antibiotics would be the first line of treatment. However, in some cases, the condition may be idiopathic, which means that the underlying causes cannot be determined. So, to deal with this condition, surgical removal of spleen is considered to be the best treatment option. However, this is advised only in chronic cases.
To conclude, patients are generally advised to avoid indulging in sports activities to prevent the condition from getting worse. Other than this, there are certain activities which the doctor would advise the patients to refrain from.
Disclaimer: This Bodytomy article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.