Splenic infarction is the death of tissue (necrosis) in the spleen due to a blockage in blood flow.
Common causes of splenic infarction include:
- Blood clots from the heart
- Blood cancer, such as lymphoma or leukemia
- Diseases in which the blood clots more easily, such as sickle cell disease
- Inflammation of the pancreas or a mass in the pancreas pressing on the blood vessels to the spleen
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.
Spleen anatomy - illustration
The spleen is an organ that filters the blood, stores blood cells, removes old red blood cells, and produces certain white blood cells.
Review Date: 6/15/2019
Reviewed By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.