Spleen Anatomy

Location
  • The spleen is located in the upper-left abdomen, within the peritoneum, and lies directly under concavity of the diaphragm. It roughly rests on the left flexure of the large intestine and the left kidney while its anterior aspect contacts the greater curvature of the stomach. In healthy adults the spleen should not extend below the lower margin of the ribs and only does so in situations of pathological splenomegaly.
Shape
  • The spleen is roughly dome-shaped as befits its location under the diaphragmatic concavity. At the margins of the dome, the organ possesses a sharp, irregular border which rolls into its concave central hilum. The organ can vary in size depending on the immune status of the patient but in healthy adults the spleen is roughly the size of half a large onion.
Blood Supply
  • The spleen receives its vasculature at its hilum through fibrous ligaments which attach the organ to the stomach and kidney via the gastrosplenic ligament and the gastrorenal ligament, respectively. Arterial blood is received from the splenic artery which is itself a branch of the celiac trunk. Venous blood exits via several smaller veins that ultimately coalesce into the splenic vein which drains into the portal vein as it runs behind the pancreas.