What Is the Treatment for Hepatosplenomegaly?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Hepatosplenomegaly treatment options primarily depend on the underlying reason for the enlargement in the liver and spleen. To determine an appropriate course of action, a medical provider may request a series of tests including medical imaging studies, blood tests, and urine samples to find out what is causing the enlargement. This information can dictate whether treatments like medications, surgery, and other options would be most effective. Since in most cases the hepatosplenomegaly is a symptom, not a primary complaint, treating the root cause may resolve the issue.

Blood and urine samples are often collected to help diagnose hepatosplenomegaly.
Blood and urine samples are often collected to help diagnose hepatosplenomegaly.

One potential cause of liver and spleen enlargement is infection with bacteria, viruses, and other organisms. This can be common with people who have conditions like mononucleosis and hepatitis. Treatment of the infection may allow the swelling to resolve as the patient’s body returns to normal. Medications may be necessary along with rest, fluid support, and other measures to promote immune health.

Hepatosplenomegaly treatment options primarily depend on the underlying reason for the enlargement in the liver and spleen.
Hepatosplenomegaly treatment options primarily depend on the underlying reason for the enlargement in the liver and spleen.

Other reasons for hepatosplenomegaly to develop can be more complex and harder to treat. Patients with congestive heart failure may experience enlargement as their organs start to fail, which indicates their heart failure is no longer being adequately controlled. Aggressive treatments may be required. Another cause can be a tumor, in which case the patient may need surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation to address the growth and relieve stress on the liver and spleen.

Getting rest and drinking fluids are important parts of the treatment for hepatosplenomegaly.
Getting rest and drinking fluids are important parts of the treatment for hepatosplenomegaly.

Some cases of hepatosplenomegaly are related to genetic disorders. These patients may have enlargement even before they are born, or it may develop after birth. In these situations, treatment options can vary from supportive care for a patient with an incurable enzyme deficiency or other problem to medications designed to help the patient’s liver and spleen function. Working with an expert in the specific genetic condition involved can help patients access the best possible treatment, including potentially experimental treatments only open to participants in clinical trials.

A swollen spleen caused by a viral infection may lead to a sore throat.
A swollen spleen caused by a viral infection may lead to a sore throat.

When enlargement of the liver and spleen is initially identified, patients should be aware that extensive testing may be necessary to find out why it is happening. This information is important because it could dictate the best treatment pathway for the given case. Patients should also made sure their medical providers have a complete medical history, as it may contain important and relevant data. For example, a history of genetic diseases in the family would be important to know, even if a patient believes the gene was not passed down.

Genetic disorders may be responsible for liver enlargement.
Genetic disorders may be responsible for liver enlargement.
Chemotherapy may be part of the treatment for hepatosplenomegaly.
Chemotherapy may be part of the treatment for hepatosplenomegaly.
Infection with bacteria, viruses, and other organisms may cause spleen enlargement.
Infection with bacteria, viruses, and other organisms may cause spleen enlargement.
If hepatosplenomegaly is caused by a tumor, radiation may be part of the treatment.
If hepatosplenomegaly is caused by a tumor, radiation may be part of the treatment.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

anon347931

Is it harmful during pregnancy?

SteamLouis

Hepatosplenomegaly in infants and children can be problematic. My daughter had it when she was little and she was treated with intravenous anti-viral medications in the hospital.

ysmina

@ZipLine-- Yes, because mononucleosis is a viral infection and cannot be treated with antibiotics. People might be kept in the hospital for a day or two to make sure that there aren't complications though. And it's important to avoid close contact with others to avoid spreading the virus.

Aside from this, rest is the main treatment. I think it takes a while for hepatosplenomegaly to resolve after a mono infection. So just go to your check-ups to keep things in check.

ZipLine

I have mild hepatosplenomegaly due to mononucleosis but I haven't been given anything for it. My doctor told me to take it easy and rest. I have to go back for checkups once every ten days to see if my liver and spleen are going back to normal. That's it. Is this usually how mononucleosis caused hepatosplenomegaly is treated?

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