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What causes an enlarged spleen (splenomegaly)?

ANSWER

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 infections that can cause an enlarged spleen:

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

SOURCES:

MedlinePlus: "Splenomegaly."

eMedicine: "Splenomegaly."

Nemours Foundation: "Spleen and Lymphatic System."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 13, 2018

SOURCES:

MedlinePlus: "Splenomegaly."

eMedicine: "Splenomegaly."

Nemours Foundation: "Spleen and Lymphatic System."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 13, 2018

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What are some other causes of an enlarged spleen (splenomegaly)?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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