The Spleen



  • In the supracolic compartment of the abdominal cavity:
  • left hypochondrium,
  • mid-axillary line,
  • related to ribs 9, 10, 11.
  • Its long axis corresponds to that of the 10 th rib.

Borders of spleen

  • Superior pole
  • Inferior pole
  • Anterior border
  • Posterior border


There are two surfaces;

Diaphragmatic surface:

  • fits into the concavity of the diaphragm opposite ribs 9, 10, and 11.

  • The costo diaphragmatic recess intervenes between.

  • The lungs and pleura are important relations.

The visceral surface is related to the following organs:

    • Left kidney
    • Left supra renal gland
    • Splenic flexure of colon
    • Stomach anteriorly
    • Tail of pancreas


Peritoneal relations  
  • covered by peritoneum except at hilum
Ligaments of the spleen (peritoneal folds)  
  • Gastrosplenic ligament  (Contains short gastric vessels)

  • Splenorenal ligament (Contains splenic vessels)

Blood supply

  • The splenic artery divides into five or more segmental branches which enter the hilum.

  • The splenic vein starts as 5-6 tributaries in the hilum of the spleen.

  • It joins with superior mesenteric vein to form the portal vein.

Lymphatic drainage

Lymphatics end in the pancreatico-splenic lymph nodes.



  • Innervated by vagus nerve
  • Greater splanchnic through celiac plexus

Home | Project Anatomy | Gross Anatomy | Topic Index | Chapter 30

Chapter 32: The Peritoneum and the Organs of the Gastrointestinal System
Colic area