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Spleen - Definition


The spleen is an abdominal organ located under the diaphragm to the left of the stomach. On average, this organ weighs around 200 grams and measures 12 by 7 centimeters in size and is 4 cm thick. It can sometimes be detected by touch when enlarged, a case called splenomegaly, and is located in the left of the hypochondrium, the upper-left section of the abdomen. Of its various functions, the spleen plays a major role in the immune system, that which defends the body, by fabricating certain immune system cells. This is also the reason why it sometimes becomes enlarged at times of infection or disease when white blood cells are produced in excess. The spleen has another function, that of purifying the blood through eradication of deficient red blood cells, storing blood platelets, and synthesizing blood cells in fetuses. The spleen can be explored using ultrasonography, or possibly a scanner.