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Spleen Enlargement

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An enlarged spleen can be caused by infections, cirrhosis and other liver diseases, blood diseases characterized by abnormal blood cells, problems with the lymph system, or other conditions.

Here are some common causes of an enlarged spleen:

Infections

  • Viral infections, such as mononucleosis
  • Parasitic infections, such as toxoplasmosis
  • Bacterial infections, such as endocarditis (an infection of your heart's valves)

Cancer

  • Leukemia, a cancer in which white blood cells displace normal blood cells
  • Lymphoma, a cancer of lymph tissue, such as Hodgkin's disease

Other causes of an enlarged spleen include:

  • Inflammatory diseases such as sarcoidosis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Trauma, such as an injury during contact sports
  • Cancer that has spread (metastasized) to the spleen
  • A cyst, a noncancerous fluid-filled sac
  • A large abscess, a pus-filled cavity usually caused by a bacterial infection
  • Infiltrative diseases such as Gaucher's disease, amyloidosis, or glycogen storage diseases