Hypersplenism is an overactive spleen. The spleen is an organ found in the upper left side of your abdomen. The spleen helps filter old and damaged cells from your bloodstream. If your spleen is overactive, it removes the blood cells too early and too quickly.
The spleen plays a key role in helping your body fight infections. Problems with the spleen can make you more likely to develop infections.
Common causes of hypersplenism include:
- Cirrhosis (advanced liver disease)
- Various connective tissue and inflammatory diseases
- Enlarged spleen
- Low level of one or more types of blood cells
- Feeling full too soon after eating
- Stomach pain on the left side
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Connell NT, Shurin SB, Schiffman F. The spleen and its disorders. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 160.