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August 1932


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota. Delivered before the Minnesota Academy of Medicine, St. Paul, Minn., Nov. 11, 1931.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1932;50(2):240-256. doi:10.1001/archinte.1932.00150150072008

The liver and the spleen show greater variations in size under abnormal states than any other organs of the body. Livers weighing from two to four times the normal and spleens from five to twenty times the normal are not infrequently encountered. Since these organs are so situated that on enlarging they soon become palpable, definite enlargements become helpful in differential diagnosis. Unfortunately, moderate enlargements are not so helpful in diagnosis, because they are encountered under such a large variety of conditions. However, massive enlargements—splenomegaly and especially hepatomegaly—are caused by relatively few diseases, and the knowledge of this fact will greatly aid in arriving at a correct differential diagnosis by precluding from consideration a large group of diseases that could scarcely be the basis of such enlargement.

In order to establish as accurately as possible the conditions that may give rise to large livers and spleens, the present study was