The forensic spleen: Morphological, radiological, and toxicological investigations

Forensic Sci Int. 2018 Oct:291:94-99. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2018.08.012. Epub 2018 Aug 18.


The spleen is infrequently investigated in forensic pathology routine. Thorough examinations are performed in very specific situations such as splenic trauma (including iatrogenic trauma from cardiopulmonary resuscitation attempts), anaphylaxis-related deaths, drowning and sepsis. The purpose of this review article is to provide a general overview of available literature focusing on a few selected splenic diseases as well as available forensic investigation techniques performed on the spleen in order to summarize the most frequent situations of forensic interest in which this routinely unexplored organ may merit more extensive examination.

Keywords: Anaphylaxis; Autopsy; Drowning; Forensic pathology; Spleen.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis / diagnosis
  • DNA Degradation, Necrotic
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Drowning / diagnosis
  • Eosinophils / pathology
  • Forensic Pathology / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mast Cells / pathology
  • Organ Size
  • Sepsis / diagnosis
  • Spleen / chemistry
  • Spleen / injuries
  • Spleen / pathology*
  • Splenomegaly / pathology