Wandering spleen - The challenge of ultrasound diagnosis: Report of 7 cases

Boaz Karmazyn, Ran Steinberg, Gabriella Gayer, Sylvia Grozovski, Enrique Freud, Liora Kornreich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Purpose. To summarize our experience with sonographic diagnosis of wandering spleen in children and assess for the typical sonographic findings of wandering spleen, complications, and possible diagnostic pitfalls. Methods. We identified all pediatric patients from 1998-2003 with a surgically confirmed diagnosis of wandering spleen. All sonographic examinations were reviewed for splenic position, size, echotexture, and parenchymal blood flow. Results. Seven children were identified with a mean age of 9.7 years (range 4.2-15.3 years). All presented with abdominal pain. Abdominal sonography, performed in all children demonstrated a low position of the spleen (n = 6), splenomegaly (n = 4), and absence of parenchymal flow in the three patients with splenic torsion and infarction. The diagnosis was made preoperatively via sonography in five children; three required repeated hospital admissions before the correct diagnosis was established. Complications occurred in five patients (gastric obstruction [n = 1], splenic infarction [n = 3], and recurrent pancreatitis [n = 1]). Conclusion. The most specific sonographic finding for wandering spleen is low position of the spleen. However, if the spleen regains its normal or near-normal position, the diagnosis may be missed and the condition may recur, and result in complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-438
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Ultrasound
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Pediatric
  • Sonography
  • Spleen


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