Sonographic determination of normal spleen size in an adult African population

Eur J Radiol. 2010 Jul;75(1):e133-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2009.09.025. Epub 2009 Oct 15.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the normal range of spleen size in an adult African population, and compare the findings to published data to determine any correlation with ethnicity.

Materials and methods: Three hundred and seventy-four African adults without conditions that can affect the spleen or splenic abnormalities were evaluated with ultrasonography. Spleen length, width and thickness were measured and spleen volume calculated. Spleen size was correlated with age, gender, height, weight, and body mass index.

Results: The mean spleen volume was 120 cm(3). Spleen volume correlated with spleen width (r=0.85), thickness (r=0.83) and length (r=0.80). Men had a larger mean spleen volume than women. No correlation was found between spleen volume and age, weight, height, or body mass index.

Conclusion: Mean spleen volume in African adults is smaller than data from Western sources, and cannot be explained by difference in body habitus.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Age Factors
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Body Size / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Organ Size / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors
  • Spleen / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spleen / physiology*
  • Ultrasonography / methods*