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Encyclopedia > Spleen
Laparoscopic view of a horse's spleen (the purple and grey mottled organ)
Latin splen, lien
Gray's subject #278 1282
Artery Splenic artery
Vein Splenic vein
Nerve Splenic plexus
Precursor Mesenchyme of dorsal mesogastrium
MeSH Spleen
Dorlands/Elsevier s_19/12750780

The spleen is an organ located in the abdomen, where it functions in the destruction of old red blood cells and holding a reservoir of blood. It is regarded as one of the centers of activity of the reticuloendothelial system (part of the immune system). Until recently, the purpose of the spleen was not known. It is increasingly recognized that its absence leads to a predisposition to certain infections. Image File history File links Illu_spleen. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Horse_spleen_laparoscopic. ... Laparoscopic surgery, also called keyhole surgery (when natural body openings are not used), bandaid surgery, or minimally invasive surgery (MIS), is a surgical technique. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... Section of an artery For other uses, see Artery (disambiguation). ... Branches of the celiac artery. ... In the circulatory system, a vein is a blood vessel that carries blood toward the heart. ... The portal vein and its tributaries - the largest are the superior mesenteric vein and splenic vein. ... Nerves (yellow) Nerves redirects here. ... The splenic plexus (lienal plexus in older texts) is formed by branches from the celiac plexus, the left celiac ganglion, and from the right vagus nerve. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Mesenchyme (also known as embryonic connective tissue) is the mass of tissue that develops mainly from the mesoderm (the middle layer of the trilaminar germ disc) of an embryo. ... The portion of this mesentery attached to the greater curvature of the stomach is named the dorsal mesentery (or dorsal mesogastrium, when referring to the portion at the stomach), and the part which suspends the colon is termed the mesocolon. ... Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is a huge controlled vocabulary (or metadata system) for the purpose of indexing journal articles and books in the life sciences. ... Elseviers logo. ... “Red cell” redirects here. ... The reticuloendothelial system (RES), part of the immune system, consists of the phagocytic cells located in reticular connective tissue, primarily monocytes and macrophages. ... A scanning electron microscope image of a single neutrophil (yellow), engulfing anthrax bacteria (orange). ... An infection is the detrimental colonization of a host organism by a foreign species. ...



The human spleen is located in the upper left part of the abdomen, behind the stomach and just below the diaphragm. In normal individuals this organ measures about 125 × 75 × 50 mm (5 × 3 × 2 inches) in size, with an average weight of 150 g (5 oz.). This article is about modern humans. ... The abdomen is a part of the body. ... In anatomy, the stomach is a bean-shaped hollow muscular organ of the gastrointestinal tract involved in the second phase of digestion, following mastication. ... In the anatomy of mammals, the diaphragm is a shelf of muscle extending across the bottom of the ribcage. ... An inch (plural: inches; symbol or abbreviation: in or, sometimes, ″ - a double prime) is the name of a unit of length in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... The ounce (abbreviation: oz) is the name of a unit of mass in a number of different systems, including various systems of mass that form part of English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ...

The spleen is the largest organ derived from mesenchyme and lying in the mesentery. It consists of masses of lymphoid tissue of granular appearance located around fine terminal branches of veins and arteries. These vessels are connected by modified capillaries called splenic sinuses. Åž:For other uses, see Organ (disambiguation) In biology, an organ (Latin: organum, instrument, tool) is a group of tissues that perform a specific function or group of functions. ... Mesenchyme (also known as embryonic connective tissue) is the mass of tissue that develops mainly from the mesoderm (the middle layer of the trilaminar germ disc) of an embryo. ... In anatomy, a mesentery is a part of the peritoneum that connects an internal organ, such as the small intestine, to the abdominal wall. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Biological tissue is a collection of interconnected cells that perform a similar function within an organism. ... In the circulatory system, a vein is a blood vessel that carries blood toward the heart. ... Section of an artery For other uses, see Artery (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Approximately 10% of people have one or more accessory spleens. They may form near the hilum of the main spleen, the junction at which the splenic vessels enter and leave the organ. An accessory spleen (supernumerary spleen) is a small nodule of splenic tissue found in some people in the neighborhood of the spleen, and especially in the gastrolienal ligament and greater omentum. ... Anatomic nomenclature for a depression or pit at the part of an organ where vessels and nerves enter. ...

There are several peritoneal ligaments that support the spleen[1] (to understand their naming it helps to know that "lien" is an alternate root for "spleen") A ligament is a short band of tough fibrous connective tissue composed mainly of long, stringy collagen molecules. ... The root is the primary lexical unit of a word, which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituents. ...

Cross sections of the spleen reveal a red soft surface which is divided into two types of pulp which correspond to the two most important functional roles of the spleen, summarized below:[2] The spleen is almost entirely surrounded by peritoneum, which is firmly adherent to its capsule. ... The splenorenal ligament (or lienorenal ligament, or phrenicolienal ligament in older texts), is derived from the peritoneum, where the wall of the general peritoneal cavity comes into contact with the omental bursa between the left kidney and the spleen; the lienal vessels pass between its two layers. ... A fold of peritoneum, the phrenicocolic ligament, is continued from the left colic flexure to the diaphragm opposite the tenth and eleventh ribs; it passes below and serves to support the spleen, and therefore has received the name of sustentaculum lienis. ... A colic flexure is a flexure (a bend) in the colon. ... For other types of diaphragm, see Diaphragm. ...

Area Composition Function
red pulp
* "sinuses" (or "sinusoids") which are filled with blood
* "splenic cords" of reticular fibers
* "marginal zone" bordering on white pulp
Mechanical filtration. Removes unwanted materials from the blood, including senescent red blood cells.
white pulp Composed of nodules, called Malpighian corpuscles. These are composed of:
* "lymphoid follicles" (or "follicles"), rich in B-lymphocytes
* "periarteriolar lymphoid sheaths" (PALS), rich in T-lymphocytes
Helps fight infections.

Other functions of the spleen are less prominent, especially in the healthy adult: The red pulp (also called splenic pulp, but should not be confused with white pulp) is a soft mass of a dark reddish-brown color, resembling grumous blood It consists of a fine reticulum of fibers, continuous with those of the splenic trabeculae, to which are applied flat, branching cells. ... Sinus may refer to: In anatomy, where a sinus is a sac or cavity in any organ or tissue: Paranasal sinus, an air cavity in the cranial bones, especially those near the nose Sinus (anatomy), description of the general term Anal sinuses, the furrows which separate the columns in the... A sinusoid is a small blood vessel similar to a capillary but with a fenestrated endothelium. ... Human blood smear: a - erythrocytes; b - neutrophil; c - eosinophil; d - lymphocyte. ... The Cords of Billroth (also known as splenic cords or red pulp cords) are found in the red pulp of the spleen between the sinusoids, consisting of fibrils and connective tissue cells with a large population of monocytes and macrophages. ... Reticular fibers are the structural fiber in some connective tissues. ... The marginal zone is a portion of the spleen. ... It has been suggested that Longevity genes be merged into this article or section. ... Human red blood cells Red blood cells are the most common type of blood cell and are the vertebrate bodys principal means of delivering oxygen to body tissues via the blood. ... The altered coat of the arterioles, consisting of adenoid tissue, presents here and there thickenings of a spheroidal shape, the white pulp (Malpighian bodies of the spleen, splenic lymphoid nodules). ... There are at least two anatomical structures called a Malpighian corpuscle. ... Lymph nodes are components of the lymphatic system. ... B cells are lymphocytes that play a large role in the humoral immune response (as opposed to the cell-mediated immune response). ... Periarteriolar lymphoid sheaths (or periarterial lymphatic sheaths, or PALS) are a portion of the white pulp of the spleen. ... T cells are a subset of lymphocytes that play a large role in the immune response. ...

  • Creation of red blood cells. While the bone marrow is the primary site of hematopoeisis in the adult, up until the fifth month of gestation, the spleen has important hematopoietic functions. After birth, no significant hematopoietic function is left in the spleen except in some hematologic disorders: e.g. myelodysplastic syndrome, hemoglobinopathies.
  • Storage of red blood cells and other formed elements. This is only valid for certain mammals, such as dogs and horses. In horses roughly 50% of the red blood cells are stored there. The red blood cells can be released when needed. In humans, however, the spleen does not function as a deposit of red blood cells, but instead it stores platelets in case of an emergency .[3] These animals also have large hearts in relation to their body size to accommodate the higher-viscosity blood that results. Some athletes have tried doping themselves with their own stored red blood cells to try to achieve the same effect, but the human heart is not equipped to handle the higher-viscosity blood.

An opsonin is any molecule that acts as a binding enhancer for the process of phagocytosis, for example, by coating the negatively-charged molecules on the membrane. ... Properdin is a globulin protein found in the blood serum of humans. ... Tuftsin is a tetrapeptide (Thr-Lys-Pro-Arg) produced by enzymatic cleavage of the Fc-domain of the heavy chain of immunoglobulin G. It is produced primarily in the spleen. ... Human red blood cells Red blood cells are the most common type of blood cell and are the vertebrate bodys principal means of delivering oxygen to body tissues via the blood. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Diagram that shows the development of different blood cells from hematopoietic stem cell to mature cells Haematopoiesis (from Ancient Greek: haima blood; poiesis to make) (or Hematopoiesis in the United States) is the formation of blood cellular components. ... Hemoglobinopathy is a kind of genetic defect that results in abnormal structure of one of the globin chains of the hemoglobin molecule. ... Human red blood cells Red blood cells are the most common type of blood cell and are the vertebrate bodys principal means of delivering oxygen to body tissues via the blood. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... The heart and lungs, from an older edition of Grays Anatomy. ...


Enlargement of the spleen is known as splenomegaly. It may be caused by sarcoidosis, malaria, Infectious mononucleosis, bacterial endocarditis, leukemia, pernicious anaemia, Gaucher's disease, leishmaniasis, Hodgkin's disute splenomegaly includes a complete blood count with differential, platelet count, and reticulocyte and atypical lymphocyte counts to exclude hemolytic anemia and leukemia. Assessment of IgM antibodies to viral capsid antigen (a rising titer) is indicated to confirm Epstein-Barr virus or cytomegalovirus. Other infections should be excluded if these tests are negative. Splenomegaly is an enlargement of the spleen, which usually lies in the left upper quadrant (LUQ) of the human abdomen. ... Malaria is a vector-borne infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites. ... Endocarditis is an inflammation of the inner layer of the heart, the endocardium. ... Leukemia or leukaemia (see spelling differences) is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). ... Pernicious anemia refers to a type of autoimmune anemia. ... Gauchers disease (pronounced ) is the most common of the lipid storage diseases. ... Hodgkins disease is a type of lymphoma described by Thomas Hodgkin in 1832, and characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells. ... Schematics of shorthand for complete blood count commonly used by physicians. ... Reticulocyte Erythrocyte Reticulocytes are immature red blood cells, typically comprising about 1% of the red cells in the human body. ... IGM might be an acronym or abbreviation for: The polymeric immunoglobulin, IgM International Grandmaster, a chess ranking intergalactic medium Intragroup medium - see: Intracluster medium IG Metall - the dominant German metalworkers union IGM is an acronym created by Robinson Technologies for several early BBS door games, including Legend of the Red... A titer (BE: titre) is the unit in which the analytical detection of many substances is expressed. ... The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), also called Human herpesvirus 4 (HHV-4), is a virus of the herpes family (which includes Herpes simplex virus and Cytomegalovirus), and is one of the most common viruses in humans. ... Species see text Cytomegalovirus (CMV) (from the Greek cyto-, cell, and -mega-, large) is a viral genus of the Herpesviruses group: in humans it is commonly known as human herpesvirus 5 (HHV-5). ...


The absence of a spleen predisposes to some septicaemia infections. Vaccination and antibiotic measures are discussed under asplenia. Sepsis (in Greek Σήψις) is a serious medical condition caused by a severe systemic infection leading to a systemic inflammatory response. ... Asplenia refers to the absence (a-) of normal spleen function and is associated with some risks. ...

  • Some people congenitally completely lack a spleen, although this is rare.

A congenital disorder is any medical condition that is present at birth. ... Sickle-cell disease is a group of genetic disorders caused by sickle hemoglobin (Hgb S or Hb S). ... Asplenia refers to the absence (a-) of normal spleen function and is associated with some risks. ... An autosplenectomy occurs when a disease damages the spleen to such an extect that it is non-functioning and so equivalent to the spleen having been surgically removed (splenectomy). ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... “Surgeon” redirects here. ... A splenectomy is a procedure that involves the removal of the spleen by operative means. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Blood diseases affect the production of blood and its components, such as blood cells, hemoglobin, blood proteins, the mechanism of coagulation, etc. ... Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is the condition of having a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) of no known cause (idiopathic). ... Spherocytosis is an auto-hemolytic anemia (a disease of the blood) characterized by the production of red blood cells (RBCs), or erythrocytes, that are sphere-shaped, rather than donut-shaped. ... This article is about lymphoma in humans. ...

Etymology and cultural views

The word spleen comes from the Greek splēn.

In French, spleen refers to a state of pensive sadness or melancholy. It has been popularized by the poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) but was already used before, in particular in the Romantic literature (18th century). The connection between spleen (the organ) and melancholy (the temperament) comes from the humoral medicine of the ancient Greeks. One of the humours (body fluid) was the black bile, secreted by the spleen organ and associated with melancholy. In contrast, the Talmud (tractate Berachoth 61b) refers to the spleen as the organ of laughter, possibly suggesting a link with the humoral view of the organ. Melancholia (Greek μελαγχολια) was described as a distinct disease as early as the fifth and fourth centuries BC in the Hippocratic writings. ... Charles Baudelaire Charles Pierre Baudelaire (April 9, 1821–August 31, 1867) was one of the most influential French poets. ... Year 1821 (MDCCCXXI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Cunt BAg Twat Fuk suck my penis ring 0778851865!!!!!!Year 1867 (MDCCCLXVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Wanderer above the sea of fog by Caspar David Friedrich Romanticism is an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in 18th century Western Europe, during the Industrial Revolution. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Melancholia (Greek μελαγχολια) was described as a distinct disease as early as the fifth and fourth centuries BC in the Hippocratic writings. ... The four humours were four fluids that were thought to permeate the body and influence its health. ... Ancient Greece is the term used to describe the Greek_speaking world in ancient times. ... Bile is also another name for Belenus, a god in Brythonic mythology. ... The first page of the Vilna Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Berachot, folio 2a. ... For other uses, see Laughter (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

In German, the word "spleen", pronounced as in English, refers to a persisting somewhat eccentric (but not quite lunatic) idea or habit of a person; however the organ is called "Milz", (cognate with Old English milte). In 19th century England women in bad humour were said to be afflicted by spleen, or the vapours of spleen. In modern English "to vent one's spleen" means to vent one's anger, e.g. by shouting, and can be applied to both males and females. Old English (also called Anglo-Penis[1], Englisc by its speakers) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... This article is about the emotion. ...

In China, the spleen ' (pí)' counts as the seat of one's temperament and is thought to influence the individual's willpower. Analogous to "venting one's spleen", "發脾氣" is used as an expression for getting angry, although in the view of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the view of "脾" does not correspond to the anatomical "spleen". Traditional Chinese medicine shop in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. ...

See also

The marginal zone is a portion of the spleen. ...

Additional images


  1. ^ Norman/Georgetown spleen
  2. ^ Histology at BU 07701loa
  3. ^ Carey, Bjorn. "Horse science: What makes a Derby winner - Spleen acts as 'natural blood doper,' scientist says", MSNBC.com, Microsoft, May 5, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-05-09. 

Georgetown University is an elite private research university located in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., United States. ... For similarly-named academic institutions, see Boston (disambiguation). ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 129th day of the year (130th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Look up spleen in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

  Results from FactBites:
Human spleen: function, body location, diseases (233 words)
The human spleen is an organ that creates lymphocytes for the destruction and recycling of old red-blood cells.
The spleen is shaped like a loose fist and is tucked under the left side of the diaphragm.
The spleen is located in the upper-left part of your abdomen.
Spleen (251 words)
The spleen is a lymphatic organ interposed in the blood stream.
The surface projection of the longitudinal axis of the spleen is the tenth rib.
The spleen consists of a diaphragmatic and visceral surface.
  More results at FactBites »



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