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Structure of the spleen

Learning objectives

After going through this study, you will be able to:

  1. Describe the location of the spleen and its relations with nearby organs.
  2. Identify the parts and landmarks of the spleen.
  3. Get familiar with the structure and main functions of this organ.

Watch video

The spleen is a soft, delicate, fist-sized, intraperitoneal organ covered by a fibroelastic capsule. It is located in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen (left hypochondrium), at the level of the 9th to 11th ribs, posterior to the stomach and anterior to the left hemidiaphragm and costodiaphragmatic recess. It plays an important role in the immune system, by participating both in the humoral and the cell-mediated responses.

After watching the following video you will learn everything you should know about the anatomy of the spleen, its internal structure, relations and neurovasculature.

Take a quiz

Test your knowledge of the spleen by taking the following quiz:

You can also challenge yourself with a quiz that covers all the major organs of the abdomen! Check the following custom quiz and test your knowledge in the abdominal organs.

Browse atlas

Recap everything that you have previously learned about spleen by going through our atlas gallery:


Key points about the spleen
Definition Intraperitoneal lymphatic organ found on the left side of the abdomen, inferior to the diaphragm
Relations of spleen Superolateral: Diaphragm
: Stomach
: Left kidney (and superior pole of the left suprarenal gland)
Inferior pole:
Left flexure of the colon
Neurovascular supply Arterial supply: Splenic artery
Venous drainage
: Splenic vein
Lymphatic drainage
: Celiac nodes
: Celiac plexus

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