Determination of normal dimension of the spleen by ultrasound in an endemic tropical environment

Niger Med J. 2011 Jul;52(3):198-203. doi: 10.4103/0300-1652.86141.


Background: To determine the normal dimensions of spleen by ultrasonography in our environment exposed to endemic tropical infection and infestation.

Materials and methods: A prospective study of normal spleen ultrasound-based measurements in 200 Nigerian adults at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital Benin, Nigeria.

Results: There were 91 males and 109 females; their age ranged between 20 and 60 years. For the males the mean age was 32.4 years (± 9.2 SD), mean height was 175.0 cm (±7.3 SD), mean weight was 72.5 kg (±10.1 SD), and mean body mass index was 23.6 (±2.8 SD) and the females the mean age was 29.7 years (±9.0 SD) mean height was 164.6 cm (±5.8 SD), mean weight 64.1 kg (±12.9 SD), and mean BMI was 24.9 (±1.4 SD). For the males the mean splenic length, width, depth, and volume were 11.1 cm (±0.9 SD), 4.4 cm (±0.5 SD), 7.8 cm (±0.6 SD), and 202.7 cm(3) (±49.4 SD), respectively. For the females the corresponding values of splenic length, width, depth, and volume were 10.1 cm (±0.7 SD), 4.0 cm (±0.4 SD), 7.1 cm (±0.5 SD), and 153.7 cm(3) (±33.2 SD), respectively.

Conclusion: Comparison between mean splenic dimension parameters for males and females (from unpaired t-test determination) showed a statistically significant difference (P<0.001 for splenic length, width, depth, and volume). There was also statistically significant increasing value correlation between subjects' weight and height (in favor of height) when compared to spleen length, width, depth, and volume. The other parameters show no significant correlation in both female and male. In particular there was also no statistically significant correlation of splenic measurements with age in either sex. This is similar to what was noted in other centers.

Keywords: Dimension; exposure; spleen; tropical environment; ultrasound.