Nonneoplastic, benign, and malignant splenic diseases: cross-sectional imaging findings and rare disease entities

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2014 Aug;203(2):315-22. doi: 10.2214/AJR.13.11777.


Objective: Splenic lesions are commonly encountered and are often incidental in nature. Benign splenic vascular neoplasms include hemangioma, hamartoma, lymphangioma, extra-medullary hematopoiesis (EMH), and sclerosing angiomatoid nodular transformation (SANT). Uncommonly encountered entities of the spleen include focal EMH, focal myeloma, angiomyolipoma, and SANT. Primary splenic angiosarcoma is the most common malignant nonhematolymphoid malignancy of the spleen. Lymphoma, myeloma, and metastases are the other malignant entities involving the spleen. The clinical presentation, key imaging findings, and associations of benign, neoplastic, and malignant diseases that can involve the spleen will be discussed.

Conclusion: Radiologists can use multimodality imaging to diagnose entities involving the spleen by recognizing key imaging features and considering patient characteristics. However, biopsy may be warranted for definitive diagnosis when imaging findings are nonspecific.

Keywords: CT; MRI; neoplasm; spleen.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Humans
  • Rare Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Splenic Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Splenic Neoplasms / diagnosis


  • Contrast Media