Acute or Active Hyperemia.—This may arise from the acute infectious diseases, the engorgement being known as the acute splenic tumor. It may be due to inflammation or trauma, and occasionally seen in amenorrhea. Except when due to injuries (circumscribed hyperemia), the organ is uniformly enlarged, is of a dark-red color and much softened. Cell infiltration may take place. The capsule presents the same characteristics.
Chronic or Passive Hyperemia.—This may precede hypertrophy due to malaria or some mechanical obstruction to the portal circulation, like various growths, disease of the heart, liver, kidney, or lungs.
The spleen is increased in size, is of a dark-red color, firm in consistency, with a capsule partaking of the same characteristics.
Symptoms.—These may not be very pronounced, though a sense of fullness is experienced in the left hypochondriac region, with more or less tenderness on pressure. On palpation, the spleen is felt below the margin of the ribs. Percussion reveals increased dullness downwards and forwards in the left hypochondrium.
Prognosis.—This will depend upon the exciting cause.
Treatment.—This will be determined by the nature of the disease giving rise to the hyperemia. Where due to infection, the antiseptics will be most frequently indicated. If due to malaria, the antiperiodics, quinia and arsenic, will be important remedies as will the specific polymnia.
The Eclectic Practice of Medicine, 1907, was written by Rolla L. Thomas, M. S., M. D.