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Semin Nucl Med. 1985 Jul;15(3):276-98.

The spleen: development and functional evaluation.


Despite the fact that the spleen has multiple functions, only one has been widely used for evaluation of the organ by imaging techniques (phagocytosis of 99mTc sulfur colloid). The usual splenic uptake of this radiocolloid can by used to determine the size, location, and integrity of the organ. A major use of splenic radiocolloid imaging has been in the study of congenital defects. Thus, eventration of the diaphragm, accessory spleens, splenogonadal fusion, the asplenia and polysplenia syndromes, and the wandering spleen are amenable to study by means of intravenously administered radiocolloid. Interference with the splenic uptake of radiocolloid can be either focal or generalized (as in functional asplenia). Imaging of the spleen has a major role in evaluating suspected trauma of the organ and in following its clinical course. The return of splenic function after splenectomy (splenosis or accessory spleens) can be documented by radionuclide imaging, and likely by hematologic techniques when the volume of tissue is sufficiently large. The detection of intrasplenic lesions is important in tumor staging and as an alerting sign to an ongoing process.

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