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spleen

Pronunciation: splen

Definition: A large, vascular lymphatic organ lying in the upper part of the abdominal cavity on the left side, between the stomach and diaphragm, composed of white and red pulp; the white consists of lymphoid nodules and diffuse lymphoid tissue; the red consists of venous sinusoids between which are splenic cords; the stroma of both red and white pulp is composed of reticular fibers and cells. A framework of fibroelastic trabeculae extending from the capsule conveys blood vessels to and from the splenic pulp. The spleen is a blood-forming organ in early life and later a storage organ for red corpuscles and platelets; because of the large number of macrophages present in the spleen it also acts as a blood filter, identifying and destroying effete erythrocytes as well as participating in the immune defense of the body.

Synonym(s): splenTA, lien

[G. splen]

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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