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, 36 (3), 182-7

Normal Organ Weights in Women: Part II-The Brain, Lungs, Liver, Spleen, and Kidneys


Normal Organ Weights in Women: Part II-The Brain, Lungs, Liver, Spleen, and Kidneys

D Kimberley Molina et al. Am J Forensic Med Pathol.


Organomegaly can be a sign of disease and pathology, although standard tables defining organomegaly have yet to be established and universally accepted. This study was designed to address the issue and to determine a normal weight for the major organs in adult human females. A prospective study was undertaken of healthy females who had sudden, traumatic deaths at age 18 to 35 years. Cases were excluded if there was a history of medical illness including illicit drug use, prolonged medical treatment was performed, there was a prolonged period between the time of injury and death, body length and weight could not be accurately assessed, or if any illness or intoxication was identified after gross and microscopic analysis including evidence of systemic disease. Individual organs were excluded if there was significant injury to the organ that could have affected the weight. A total of 102 cases met criteria for inclusion in the study during the approximately 10-year period of data collection from 2004 to 2014. The decedents had an average age of 24.4 years and ranged in length from 141 to 182 cm (56.4-72.8 inches) with an average length of 160 cm (64 inches). The weight ranged from 35.9 to 152 kg (79-334 lb) with an average weight of 65.3 kg (143 lb). The majority of the decedents (86%) died of either ballistic or blunt force (including craniocerebral) injuries. The mean brain weight was 1233 g (range, 1000-1618 g); liver mean weight, 1288 g (range, 775-2395 g); spleen mean weight, 115 g (range, 51-275 g); right lung mean weight, 340 g (range, 142-835 g); left lung mean, 299 g (range, 108-736 g); right kidney mean weight, 108 g (range, 67-261 g); and the left kidney mean weight, 116 g (range, 55-274 g). Regression analysis was performed and showed that there were insufficient associations between organ weight and body length, body weight, and body mass index to allow for predictability. The authors therefore propose establishing a reference range for organ weights in women, much like those in use for other laboratory tests. Reference ranges (95% inclusion) are proposed: brain, 1033 to 1404 g; liver, 603 to 1767 g; spleen, less than 230 g; right lung, 101 to 589 g; left lung, 105 to 515 g; right kidney, 38 to 174 g; and left kidney, 35 to 192 g.

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