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A case of intrahepatic splenosis: usefulness of splenic scintigraphy


We report a 39-year-old male with intrahepatic and peritoneal splenosis, focusing on scintigraphic findings. Dynamic computed tomography (CT) showed a 3 cm lesion in the posterior right lobe of the liver with strong early phase enhancement that was homogenous to the liver enhancement in the late phase. A few enhancing nodules were also found in the peritoneum. On gadolinium-ethoxybenzyl-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid-enhanced dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the hepatic lesion had abnormal signal on diffusion-weighted imaging, high signal intensity on T2-weighted imaging, and early enhancement with accumulation decline in the hepatocyte phase. CT and MRI findings of the hepatic lesion were similar to normal spleen. To rule out hepatic neuroendocrine tumor and peritoneal metastases, somatostatin receptor scintigraphy was performed and showed tracer accumulation in the hepatic lesion, which we considered a false positive. Splenic scintigraphy using Tc-99 m-phytate showed accumulation in the hepatic lesion and peritoneal nodules. Given the patient’s history of splenic injury and splenectomy 15 years prior and the current imaging findings, we highly suspected splenosis. After surgical treatment, the patient was pathologically diagnosed with intrahepatic and peritoneal splenosis. Splenosis should be suspected when a patient has a history of trauma or abdominal surgery. Since intrahepatic splenosis presents as a nonspecific hypervascular lesion on CT and MRI, splenic scintigraphy should be considered in these patients. In addition Tc-99 m-phytate scintigraphy is easy to use and cost-effective.

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We appreciate Dr. Jun Hashimoto and Dr. Jun Koizumi for their valuable advice. We would like to thank Enago for English editing a draft of this manuscript.


This study received no specific Grant from any funding agency.

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Correspondence to Shuichi Kawada.

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Kawada, S., Ichikawa, T., Ueda, H. et al. A case of intrahepatic splenosis: usefulness of splenic scintigraphy. Abdom Radiol 45, 2274–2278 (2020).

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  • Splenosis
  • Liver
  • Tomography
  • X-ray computed
  • Magnetic resonance imaging