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Jul 19, 2000

How can one tell if they have an enlarged spleen? Would it be a painful or more of a "heavy" feeling? Where would this pain most commonly be seen? With regard to HIV would it be constant or flare up periodically and then return later on. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

A mildly enlarged spleen isn't usually felt, but a significantly enlarged spleen may cause some abdominal discomfort because other organs are being squashed. This might feel like a fullness or a heaviness in the upper left part of the abdomen. In HIV+s an enlarged spleen usually means there is an additional disease process going on, like lymphoma or histoplasmosis, and it would be chronic, not intermittent.

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