The spleen is hung so loosely in the upper part of the abdomen that it seems strange that it is not more often dislocated. At an autopsy or an operation it is generally possible to pass the hand through a median incision and, grasping the pedicle as a handle, easily draw the spleen outside of the body.
The spleen is often enlarged, as in acute fevers and infections; or in chronic diseases, as malaria, leukemia, anemia, cirrhosis of the liver, heart disease, and in tumors or tuberculosis of the spleen itself. These enlarged spleens seldom get out of position, showing that abnormal size is not usually the cause of displacement. Ordinarily the spleen stays in position, moved up and down by the diaphragm, and pushed back and forth by the stomach, but remaining in the upper left-hand corner of the abdomen, resting on the splenic flexure of the colon, its