ISSN 2398-2950      

Abdominal organomegaly


Synonym(s): splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, renomegaly


  • Organomegaly is presumed on palpation of a large viscous on physical abdominal examination.
  • Many patients are presented due to dysfunction of the affected organ or a neighboring structure that is suffering a mass effect. In some instances organomegaly is recognized as an incidental finding.
  • Cause: there are multiple underlying causes for organomegaly; neoplasia is frequently recognized but is certainly not involved in the pathogenesis of all cases.
  • Diagnosis: many cases are appropriate candidates for therapy but therapeutic decisions require a definitive diagnosis. It is important to note that imaging findings are rarely sufficient for diagnosis in these cases. Examples of exceptions include radiographic identification pregnancy and ultrasonographic identification of intestinal intussusception.













  • Pregnancy.
  • Pyometra Pyometra.
  • Mucometra.  
  • Hemometra.
  • Neoplasia.

Lymph nodes

  • Neoplasia (primary, eg lymphoma Lymphoma or secondary, eg anal sac gland carcinoma).
  • Lymphadenitis.
  • Reactive hyperplasia.


Adrenal gland

  • Tumor.

Masses not associated with organs

  • Other abdominal masses need to be recognized so that they can be distinguished from organomegaly.
  • Abscess, rare, could be sublumbar associated bite wound over tail or hindquarters.
  • Hematoma, rare;  in mesentry, retroperitoneal space or body wall. Note diagnosis of hematoma may be returned following sampling of hemorrhagic fluid from body wall hemangiosarcoma
  • Neoplasia in body wall (particularly hemangiosarcoma Hemangiosarcoma, most frequently found in body wall of inguinal region).


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Ballegeer E A, Forrest L J, Dickinson R M et al (2007) Correlation of ultrasonographic appearance of lesions and cytologic and histologic diagnoses in splenic aspirates from dogs and cats: 32 cases (2002-2005). JAVMA 230 (5), 690-96 PubMed.
  • Cuccovillo A & Lamb C R (2002) Cellular features of sonographic target lesions of the liver and spleen in 21 dogs and a cat. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 43 (3), 275-278 PubMed.
  • Post G & Patnaik A K (1992) Nonhematopoietic hepatic neoplasms in cats - 21 cases (1985-1988). JAVMA 201 (7), 1080-1082 PubMed.

Related Images


Heart: cardiomegaly

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