Splenomegaly in Malaria from an Epidemiological Viewpoint

A Review

Mark F. Boyd International Health Board

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Splenic enlargement is one of the three characteristic physical signs of malaria infection (the other two being fever and anemia) and apart from its value to the clinician as a diagnostic sign, is of considerable value to the epidemiologist in judging the endemicity of malaria within a region. The literature on splenomegaly from this standpoint is widely scattered and is not available to many engaged in malaria control. This review was primarily prepared for the information of the writer, but may also perhaps be of service to others.

I. Anatomical Considerations. The spleen, the largest of the body's ductless glands, is located in the posterior portion of the upper left abdominal quadrant. It is an oval flattened organ and normally has a dull purple color. It has a convex or parietal surface which lies against the diaphragmatic concavity and a concave visceral surface.

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