Testing & Diagnosis for Spleen Injuries in Children

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How are spleen injuries diagnosed?

Spleen injuries may be diagnosed in different ways.

  • Most children with spleen injuries have pain in their left abdomen and their left shoulder. Your child's doctor will press on and/or under the ribs of the lower left side to see if the area is tender.
  • A child with a severe spleen injury may feel lightheaded, appear pale and have a weak pulse, all of which suggest the presence of internal bleeding.

If you think your child has a possible spleen injury, contact your child's physician for an immediate evaluation.

Diagnostic tests

There are many tests that may be done to confirm a spleen injury. The most common is a computerized tomogram, or CT scan, of the abdomen. This is a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images both horizontally and vertically of the body.

A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body. It not only shows whether or not the spleen is injured, but also how badly it's injured and if any other abdominal injuries are present.

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