Lymph nodes & spleen, nonlymphoma

Spleen-infectious / inflammatory disorders

Uncommon infections

Last author update: 1 October 2012
Last staff update: 24 November 2023

Copyright: 2003-2024,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Hantavirus spleen

Page views in 2023: 371
Page views in 2024 to date: 214
Cite this page: Mansouri J. Uncommon infections. website. Accessed June 16th, 2024.
  • Prior to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), typical findings were white pulp depletion, hemosiderin deposition, spindle cell proliferation and perivascular hyalinization; also infectious and malignant infiltrates (Mod Pathol 2002;15:406)
  • Post-HAART findings include less frequent white pulp depletion but similar rates of splenic involvement by atypical mycobacteria and CMV in those with systemic disease
  • Rare but deadly disease transmitted to humans through aerosolized virus from rodent urine, droppings or saliva
  • Usually causes pulmonary syndrome with acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Gross description: dense, rubbery and heavy lungs floating within yellow serous fluid within pleural cavity; no specific splenic findings
  • Micro description: generalized capillary dilation and edema, immunoblasts in red pulp and periarteriolar sheaths of spleen, occasional prominent and swollen endothelial cells
  • Small, weakly gram positive bacteria that are acid fast (due to mycolic acid in cell wall) and slow growers (3 - 4 weeks to develop a visible colony)
  • Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) consists of M. avium and M. intracellulare, which cause disseminated disease associated with advanced HIV; cause pulmonary disease and cervical lymphadenitis in immunocompetent individuals
  • Disseminated MAC is most common systemic bacterial infection in HIV+ patients
  • Spleen may show presence of pseudo-Gaucher cells (J Clin Pathol 2005;58:1113)
  • Treatment: clarithromycin or azithromycin plus ethambutol, for life
  • Causes "fifth" disease in children, a mild illness with a "slapped cheek" facial rash
  • Pregnant women may pass virus to fetus, where it causes marked fetal anemia and hydrops
  • Attacks erythroblasts, affecting those with minimal reserve (sickle cell patients, fetuses)
Typhoid fever
  • Due to Salmonella typhi infection
  • Causes inflammatory destruction of GI tract mucosa
  • Bacteremic phase may cause splenomegaly with destruction of splenic vessels
Case reports
Back to top
Image 01 Image 02