The main function of the spleen in the body. Dimensions, structure of the organ
If you ask an ordinary person what, in his opinion, the most strange and mysterious organ, the spleen - will be a thoughtful answer. Most people who are not related to medicine, can not formulate, for what it is still needed. To dispel doubts and clarify the functions of this, of course, an important organ, we decided on a brief excursion into the anatomy and physiology of the body.
The human spleen is an unpaired organ consisting of a pulp, held by a tight capsule of connective tissue. From the walls of the capsule, strands( trabeculae), which strengthen the soft parenchyma, retreat into the body. Histologically, two layers, or zones, of this organ are distinguished: red and white.
The bulk of the body is red pulp. It depends on her function of the spleen in the body. And to be precise, then tasks before such a small piece of the human body are delivered a lot: from the maturation of blood cells to the utilization of alien particles.
The white part of the pulp has such a color because of the high content of lymphocytes in it. Actually, this determines the main direction of this part of the parenchyma - the maintenance of immunity.
On the boundary of the red and white matter is a marginal or marginal zone, it is responsible for the calculation and elimination of foreign bacteria in the human body.
The size of the spleen in an adult reaches sixteen centimeters in length, six in height and two and a half in thickness. It has the shape of an oblate oval.
If you take as a guide the spine, then the border of the spleen will be between the ninth and the eleventh rib. On top of it is the diaphragm, in front - the back wall of the stomach and pancreas, on the side - the large intestine, and behind - the left kidney and adrenal gland. Peritoneum( thin sheet of connective tissue), the spleen is covered completely, but at the site of entry and exit of the vessels from the organ( gate area), if a small area, free from the peritoneum.
Blood supply and innervation
The structure of the spleen will be incomplete without mention of such important anatomical features as the vessels and nerves feeding this organ. The peripheral nervous system is represented on this site by the branches of the vagus nerve( the vegetative part) - it is responsible for the performance of the organ functions, and by the fibers departing from the splenic plexus( sympathetic part), which transmit painful, proprioceptive and other impulses.
A human spleen is supplied to the arteries that drain from the abdominal aorta. They, in turn, are divided into splenic branches, and those - into segmental arteries. Then another branch occurs at the level of the trabeculae and the formation of small pulpary arteries.
From the spleen, the blood returns to the portal vein system. It is connected directly to the gates of the liver.
In the fourth to fifth week after conception, when the embryo is an elongated tube that consists of several tissue sheets, the rudiment of the spleen is laid. But already by the eleventh week of the fetal life of the fetus the organ takes its usual form, the processes of accumulation of cells of the future lymphoid tissue take place in it.
The dimensions of the spleen, as well as its functions after the birth of the child, change with time. Only after reaching adolescence, it is formed definitively.
It can not be said that each of us thought about the question: "What is the function of the spleen in the body?" And even if such an idea occurred, it is very difficult to explain the work of this organ to a person who does not have specific knowledge.
Primarily, it is the source of white blood cells. It is here that they pass the stages of differentiation, ripen and go into the vascular bed. The second function of the spleen in the body is the immune system. It synthesizes antibodies to any foreign agents that enter the blood. The third, no less important part of the work of this body is the destruction of old blood cells and, indirectly, the formation of bile. In addition, this function of the spleen in the body is part of metabolic processes and the synthesis of iron.
It should be noted what role this body plays in the processes of redistribution of blood. Almost a third of all platelets( blood plates) are stored in the spleen until the moment when they are needed by the body. Another function of the spleen concerns the period of intrauterine development of the child. When the bone marrow is not yet formed, it is through her that red blood cells and leukocytes move through the embryonic vessels.
Functions of the spleen in the body remain a mystery for modern doctors. Some of them can be investigated, but much remains a mystery. Official science does not give any definitive answers.
Diseases of the spleen
Strange as it may seem, along with the mystery, this body has also received a vulnerability for various pathological processes. As a rule, these are secondary diseases caused by existing health problems, such as violation of hematopoiesis, immune response, and tumors. The primary lesion of the spleen is extremely rare.
The main function of the spleen in the body is hematopoietic, so its parenchyma is permeated with a huge number of vessels. This circumstance, which in the usual situation positively influences the work of the organ, can become the cause of the disease. If, for whatever reason, a part of the spleen is left without blood supply, its infarction develops. Ischemia of a small area can not cause uncomfortable sensations, but if a significant part of the organ has suffered, then the person feels a drawing pain. It radiates into the lower back and intensifies when inhaled.
The turn of the foot
Like other parenchymal organs, the spleen has a leg consisting of an artery, two veins and a nerve. It is they who support sufficient nutrition and function performance. Sometimes, with injuries or sharp weight loss, the legs are twisted. This is a life-threatening condition. Because of the lack of blood supply, necrosis may occur, and the decomposing tissue secretes toxins that poison the human body. The pain in this condition is strong, dagger, until the loss of consciousness.
This is the focus of inflammation in the parenchymal organ, delimited from the rest of the tissue. Occurs as a result of primary or secondary bacterial infection. Initially, it may not manifest itself at all, but over time the amount of toxins accumulating in the body will lead to the development of fever, nausea, vomiting. And then there will be pain. It will spread from the left hypochondrium upwards to the eponymous part of the thorax and to the shoulder. Determine the location of the pathological process can be using ultrasound and x-rays.
There are two types of spleen ruptures: capsular and subcapsular. The first can be identified immediately by the pain symptom, and by the characteristic appearance of the person, as well as the circumstances of the trauma. Usually this is an accident, a fight or a fall from a height. The subcapsular rupture is not immediately noticeable and creates a sense of false well-being. If the gap is small, and the bleeding inside the organ quickly stopped, then the person will not need medical help. This segment of the spleen will be replaced by a connective tissue. But in the case of prolonged heavy bleeding, the liquid will accumulate under the capsule, stretch it and inevitably lead to rupture of the connective tissue. Infected blood will enter the abdominal cavity, causing peritonitis and intra-abdominal hemorrhage. The pain is intense, sharp, on the left side of the abdomen, giving to the scapula.
Often people complain of a constant, pulling dull pain in the left hypochondrium. It can also spread to the stomach, causing discomfort when eating. And the addition of rashes and itching in the area of the projection of the spleen, encourage people to go to see a doctor. The cyst is a diagnosis-find, revealed by ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity organs.
Rarely rare for the spleen. These can be hemangiomas, lymphomas, endothelioma, or fibroids. They do not cause any painful sensations, they do not exert any influence on the function of the organ. But if for some reason a benign neoplasm has grown in size so much that the beginning of stretching the capsule, then dull constant pain may appear, as with a cyst. In this case, it is better to resort to an operative solution of the problem, without waiting for the organ to break.
They can be both primary, when the tumor is directly in the spleen, and secondary, a metastatic nature. Primarily, as a rule, sarcomas develop. A richly blood-spleen spleen is an excellent substrate for them. Pain may not appear for many years while the tumor grows, but when it reaches a critical size, a sharp deterioration in health should suggest an oncology. In addition to discomfort, there will still be weight loss, lack of appetite, nausea.
This is an increase in the spleen in size as a result of compensatory response to systemic inflammatory or autoimmune diseases, as well as to damage to the organs of hematopoiesis. It is more common in preschool and primary school children. In adults, this condition is very rare. The pain will have a permanent pulling character, but after eliminating the cause everything will return to normal.
Perhaps not everyone today knows what kind of organ is the spleen, where it is and how it hurts. But the task of the local doctor-therapist or a more specialized specialist is to correctly identify the anamnesis, regardless of the patient's knowledge of the human anatomy. Often the diseases of this body are masked for gastric, heart, muscle pain, which makes diagnosis difficult.
The structure of the spleen allows it to be a collector of blood cells that have served their blood cells and at the same time a cradle for immune units. This is a unique ability of its kind, which can not be compensated by any other body. The people of the spleen often underestimate the role of the spleen, but if you do a thorough analysis, you can wonder how much depends its well-being. Take care of your health! It is better to live a lifetime and not to know what pain in the left hypochondrium is.
What is a spleen? Where is and how it hurts? Such questions are asked by happy people, whose body works like a clock.