Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Ruptured Spleen

How Is a Ruptured Spleen Diagnosed? continued...

Other people are allergic to CT contrast or cannot receive it because their kidneys do not work properly.

In these cases, other tests may be used to help diagnose a spleen rupture. They include:

Focused abdominal sonographic technique (FAST). This is an ultrasound method to check for fluid buildup in the abdominal area. It can be used to help diagnose a ruptured spleen in unstable patients, but studies have found CT to be better in an emergency setting.

Diagnostic peritoneal lavage. This is a method to rapidly determine if blood is gathering in the abdominal area. It is fast and inexpensive, and can be done on spleen rupture patients who have low blood pressure.

MRI of the abdomen. This may be an option for patients with kidney failure or who have severe allergies to the contrast substance used during a CT scan.

If the person is stable and does not need emergency surgery, laboratory tests such as a complete blood count (CBC) or hemoglobin level may be done at routine intervals to check for blood loss.

How Is a Ruptured Spleen Treated?

In the past, treatment for a spleen injury always meant removal of the entire organ, called a splenectomy. However, doctors now say that some spleen injuries can heal on their own, particularly those that are not very severe. People with spleen injuries who do not need surgery must still be monitored in a hospital, and they may need blood transfusions.

Immediate, emergency surgery to remove or repair the spleen is done in the following cases:

  • If the doctor thinks there is massive internal bleeding
  • If a person with a suspected spleen rupture has low blood pressure or unstable vital signs

When surgery is done, the entire spleen is still usually removed. But in the case of small tears, the surgeon may try to save the spleen instead. This involves repairing the tear and putting pressure on the spleen or blood vessels till the blood clots and stops the leak. Another procedure, called arterial embolization, may be a safe way to save the spleen, but only if it can be done immediately.

Today on WebMD

man holding his stomach
Get the facts on common problems.
blueberries in a palm
Best and worst foods.
woman shopping
Learn what foods to avoid.
fresh and dried plums
Will it help constipation?
top foods for probiotics
couple eating at cafe
sick child
Woman blowing bubble gum

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Woman with crohns in pain
Woman with stomach pain
diet for diverticulitis
what causes diarrhea