Wandering spleen in children: A report of 3 cases and a brief literature review underlining the importance of diagnostic imaging

Roberta Lombardi, Laura Menchini, Teresa Corneli, Andrea Magistrelli, Antonella Accinni, Lidia Monti, Paolo Tomà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Wandering spleen is a rare condition in children that is often caused by loss or weakening of the splenic ligaments. Its clinical presentation is variable; 64% of children with wandering spleen have splenic torsion as a complication. Objective: To provide up-to-date information on the diagnosis, clinical management and diagnostic imaging approaches for wandering spleen in infants and children and to underline the importance of color Doppler US and CT in providing important information for patient management. Materials and methods: We report a series of three children with wandering spleen treated at our children's hospital over the last 6 years. All three underwent clinical evaluation, color Doppler US and CT and were surgically treated. We also reviewed 40 articles that included 55 patients younger than 18 years reported in the Medline database from 2002 to 2012. Results: We correlated pathological data with imaging findings. Color Doppler US, the first imaging modality in investigating abdominal symptoms in children with suspected wandering spleen, yielded a diagnostic sensitivity of 54.9%, whereas CT achieved about 71.7%. Conclusion: Radiologic evaluation has a major role in confirming the diagnosis of a suspected wandering spleen and avoiding potentially life-threatening complications requiring immediate surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-288
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Radiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Children
  • Color Doppler US
  • CT
  • Splenic focal lesion
  • Splenic lymphangioma
  • Splenic torsion
  • Wandering spleen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Wandering spleen in children: A report of 3 cases and a brief literature review underlining the importance of diagnostic imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this