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Incidental Finding: Splenomegaly, Splenic Nodules or Mass

  • June 2, 2016 10:46 AM EDT

    In this week's Evidence Based Update we reveal and discuss new information on the incidence of malignancy and survival for dogs with incidentally discovered splenic nodules or masses, as recently reported in JAVMA.

    The spleen is diverse in its function and physiology. This organ is involved in hematopoiesis, it serves as a reservoir for blood, and it also has metabolic and filtration capabilities.

    Splenic disease typically results in diffuse or localized splenic enlargement (splenomegaly). Some of the differentials and considerations for patients with splenic disease include:

    • Pharmacologic effects of sedatives or anticonvulsants
    • Splenic torsion
    • Infectious disease
    • Inflammatory or immune mediated condition
    • Neoplastic or other infiltrative disease condition

    In some instances, patients may present with clinical signs, physical examination findings, or have laboratory abnormalities that cue the clinician to consider splenic disease in the patient. These can include laboratory findings of anemia or thrombocytopenia, or the discovery of a hemoabdomen. In other instances, localized or diffuse splenomegaly may be an incidental discovery in the course of peforming a physical exam, abdominal radiography or ultrasound, or intraoperatively, when performing an abdominal surgical procedure.

    The ensuing conversation with the client includes mention of the various differential diagnoses, associated prognoses, and the work-up recommendations. Until recently, the frequency of malignancy and survival rates of dogs with incidentally discovered, nonruptured splenic nodules or masses was unknown. This week we discuss splenomegaly and the significance of recently published data regarding this disease in dogs.

    Here's a sneak peek of this EBU:


    View this Evidence Based Update (Running time: 29 mins)


    Reference: Incidence of malignancy and outcomes for dogs undergoing splenectomy for incidentally detected nonruptured splenic nodules or masses: 105 cases (2009-2013). J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2016 Jun 1;248(11):1267-73