ISSN 2398-2969      

Abdominal organomegaly


Synonym(s): splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, renomegaly


  • Organomegaly is presumed on palpation of a large viscus on physical abdominal examination.
  • Many patients are presented due to dysfunction of the affected organ or a neighboring structure that is suffering a mass effect. In some instances organomegaly is recognized as an incidental finding.
  • Causes: multiple underlying causes; neoplasia is frequently recognized but is certainly not involved in the pathogenesis of all cases.
  • Treatment: many cases are appropriate candidates for therapy but therapeutic decisions require a definitive diagnosis. It is important to note that imaging findings are rarely sufficient for diagnosis in these cases. Examples of exceptions include radiographic identification of gastric volvulus or pregnancy and ultrasonographic identification of intestinal intussusception.













  • Pyometra Pyometra.
  • Mucometra.
  • Hemometra.
  • Pregnancy.

Lymph nodes


Adrenal gland

  • Tumor.


Masses not associated with organs

  • Other abdominal masses need to be recognized so that they can be distinguished from organomegaly.
  • Abscess often sublumbar associated with tracking foreign body, eg grass seed.
  • Hematoma in mesentery, retroperitoneal space or body wall.
  • Neoplasia in body wall (particularly lipoma Lipoma which may reach massive dimensions without significant clinical effect).


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Ballegeer E A, Forrest L J, Dickinson R M et al (2007) Correlation of ultrasonographic appearance of lesions and cytologic and histologic diagnoses in splenic aspirates from dogs and cats: 32 cases (2002-2005). JAVMA 230, 690-696 PubMed.
  • Clifford C A, Pretorius E S, Weisse C et al (2004) Magnetic resonance imaging of focal splenic and hepatic lesions in the dog. JVIM 18 (3), 330-338 PubMed.
  • Cuccovillo A & Lamb C R (2002) Cellular features of sonographic target lesions of the liver and spleen in 21 dogs and a cat. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 43 (3), 275-278 PubMed.
  • Lamb C R & Grierson J (1999) Ultrasound appearance of primary gastric neoplasia in 21 dogs. JSAP 40 (5), 211-215 PubMed.

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