Home > Journals > Minerva Surgery > Past Issues > Minerva Chirurgica 2019 August;74(4) > Minerva Chirurgica 2019 August;74(4):359-63



Publishing options
To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian


Publication history
Cite this article as



Minerva Chirurgica 2019 August;74(4):359-63

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4733.18.07841-0


language: English

“Wandering spleen” as a rare cause of recurrent abdominal pain: a systematic review

Matteo BARABINO 1, Carmelo LUIGIANO 2 , Rinaldo PELLICANO 3, Marco GIOVENZANA 1, Roberto SANTAMBROGIO 1, Andrea PISANI 1, Anna M. IERARDI 4, Maria A. PALAMARA 2, Pierluigi CONSOLO 5, Giuseppa GIACOBBE 5, Sharmila FAGOONEE 6, Leonardo H. EUSEBI 7, Enrico OPOCHER 1

1 Unit of Hepatobiliary, Pancreatic, and Digestive Surgery, Department of Surgery, San Paolo Hospital, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 2 Unit of Digestive Endoscopy, San Paolo Hospital, Milan, Italy; 3 Department of Gastro-Hepatology, Molinette Hospital, Turin, Italy; 4 Unit of Radiology, San Paolo Hospital, Milan, Italy; 5 Unit of Digestive Endoscopy, G. Martino Hospital, University of Messina, Messina, Italy; 6 Institute for Biostructures and Bioimages, Center for Molecular Biotechnology, National Research Council, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 7 Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, S. Orsola University Hospital, Bologna, Italy

INTRODUCTION: Wandering spleen (WS) is a rare and generally acquired condition, resulting from abnormal ligamentous laxity failing to fixate the spleen in its normal location in the left upper quadrant, thus leading to its migration to the pelvis due to gravity. Such migration leads to an elongated vascular pedicle, which is prone to torsion causing splenic infarction; thus, a prompt surgical intervention is recommended. Since this adverse event affects childbearing women or children, it is crucial to choose the most appropriate surgical strategy, such as splenectomy or splenopexy, both effective and widely diffused options. The aim of this paper is to perform a literature review on WS reports treated by surgery. We also present a case of symptomatic WS migrated in pelvis in a young female treated by splenectomy.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: All relevant articles from 1895 up to December 2017 were identified by literature searches in PubMed, Scopus and Google Scholar.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: A total of 376 patients treated with surgical approach for WS were identified. The most common presentations were abdominal pain and abdominal mass, and approximately half of the patients had an acute clinical onset. Radiology is essential for the diagnosis. Surgical strategy changed over the time; splenectomy is the most reported treatment although in the last years there is an increasing trend towards a more conservative strategy, preferring splenopexy or a laparoscopic approach.
CONCLUSIONS: Surgery is the gold standard strategy, and laparoscopic approach is recommended, for the treatment of wandering spleen. Both splenopexy or splenectomy are effective and safe surgical options.

KEY WORDS: Wandering spleen; Abdominal pain; Splenectomy

top of page