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Health Information Center

Splenic Rupture

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Splenic Rupture


A splenic rupture is a tear or split in the spleen. The spleen is an organ that helps filter the blood. It also makes white blood cells that help fight infection. This problem can lead to bleeding inside the body.


Nucleus Imagehttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=62506250si2131_96472_1.jpegSpleenNULLjpegNucleus ImageNULL\\hgfiler01a\intellect\images\si2131_96472_1.jpegNULL42NULL2006-02-03250383Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Injury is a common cause of a splenic rupture. Spleen tissue may also be harmed if there is abnormal tissue growth or infection.

Risk Factors

Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:

  • Inflammatory diseases, such as pancreatitis
  • Protein disorders such as amyloidosis
  • Certain blood and blood vessel problems, such as polyarteritis
  • Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Certain treatments and medicines, such as blood thinners
  • Pregnancy and delivery of the baby
  • Infections, such as mononucleosis
  • Liver problems, such as cirrhosis


Problems may be:

  • Left shoulder pain
  • Belly pain
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or confusion


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done.

Pictures may need to be taken. This can be done with:


Treatment will depend on how badly the spleen has ruptured. The goal is to keep all or part of the spleen. Options are:

  • Monitoring an injury for signs of healing
  • Surgery to:
    • Repair the spleen
    • Remove all or part of the spleen


There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.





  • Coccolini F, Montori G, et al. Splenic trauma: WSES classification and guidelines for adult and pediatric patients. World J Emerg Surg. 2017;12:40.
  • Splenic injury. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries-poisoning/abdominal-trauma/splenic-injury.
  • Splenic injury. University of Connecticut website. Available at: http://ksi.uconn.edu/emergency-conditions/internal-trauma/splenic-injury.
  • Splenic injury and rupture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/splenic-injury-and-rupture.


  • Mark D. Arredondo, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.