Ultrasound assessment of the spleen

Topics covered


Step 1 - Preparation

Step 1.1 - Equipment preparation

Step 1.2 - Patient preparation

Step 1.3 - Operator preparation

Step 2 - Expose the abdomen and apply gel

Step 3 - Select the transducer and obtain images of the spleen

Step 4 - Commence the spleen scanning protocol

Step 4.1 - Patient position

Step 4.2 - Scan plane

Step 4.3 - Standard spleen protocol image requirements

Step 4.4 - Annotations required

Step 4.5 - Sonographic features of the normal spleen

Step 4.6 - Sonographic features of spleen variants

Step 4.6.1 - Accessory spleen or splenunculus

Step 4.6.2 - Ectopic or wandering spleen

Step 4.6.3 - Agenesis of the spleen

Step 4.7 - Troubleshooting

Step 5 - Scan the spleen in the longitudinal and transverse planes

Step 5.1 - Scan the spleen in the longitudinal plane

Step 5.2 - Assess the direction of flow in splenic vessels with color Doppler

Step 5.3 - Scan the spleen in the transverse plane

Step 6 - Complete the procedure

Learning objectives

  • Indications for ultrasound of the spleen
  • Identify spleen anatomy
  • Explain splenic physiology and laboratory findings
  • List clinical symptoms of splenic disease
  • Spleen protocol
    • Patient preparation
    • Transducer and preset selection
    • Patient positioning
    • Transducer positions
    • Scan planes
    • Identify and obtain sonographic images of the spleen and vascular structures
    • Obtain measurements of the spleen
  • Explain and demonstrate the use of breathing techniques to obtain optimal sonographic images of the spleen
  • Differentiate normal and abnormal sonographic appearances of the spleen
  • Differentiate and describe common pathologies of the spleen on sonographic images
  • Identify and obtain images of vascular flow of the splenic artery and vein
  • Identify and discuss the physiology of congestion of the spleen
  • Compare and contrast focal and diffuse disease of the spleen
  • Explain the Patient's Bill of Rights, HIPAA Privacy Rule, and Patient Safety Act

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