Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Splenomegaly: an(other) approach to its causes (2)

OK, time for the second way of remembering the causes of splenomegaly. The first possible method was to list the causes by pathogenesis; now, however, we'll try to remember them by aetiology. For this we'll use what is sometimes known as a "surgical sieve" - a laundry list of aetiological headings that can be applied to almost any condition.

Splenomegaly II: By aetiology
  • Infectious - CMV, EBV, HIV, endocarditis, TB, malaria, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, histoplasmosis
  • Inflammatory - sarcoid, amyloidosis
  • Neoplastic - lymphomas, leukaemias, myeloproliferative disorders, metastases
  • Autoimmune - haemolytic anaemias
  • Metabolic - Gaucher's, mucopolysaccharidoses
  • Vascular - portal hypertension, splenic vein obstruction, haemoglobinopathies, nutritional anaemias
(OK, I know you might have quibbles shoehorning "amyloidosis" into the 'inflammatory' heading, but it saves a clumsy 'other' category. Work with me...)

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