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Value of a Spleen
Jul 28, 2006

My boyfriend was just diagnosed with Hep C, he has no spleen. Does this make his condition worse?

Response from Dr. McGovern

If someone does not have a spleen, that does not necessarily make their hepatitis C worse.

However, when liver disease becomes advanced after years and years of infection from hepatitis C, the spleen becomes enlarged. This can be an important physical examination finding.

Your boyfriend will not be able to have this as a tell-tale sign of liver disease. However, there are other ways to tell the extent of liver disease including liver biopsies or fibrosis markers.

The spleen does protect against bacteria so he should always consider a fever a reason to get emergent care.



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