Sonographic assessment of the normal limits of the spleen in healthy school children in South-East Nigeria
Background/Objective: Ultrasonogrphy is a good modality for the detection of splenomegaly even when it is not clinically palpable. The objective of this study was to establish the normal values of splenic length in healthy school children in South.East, Nigeria and to correlate them with body indices.
Materials and Methods: This is a cross.sectional prospective study of 1315 children (633 boys and 682 girls) between the ages of 5 and 17 years. The splenic length was measured between the most superiomedial and the most inferiolateral margins, at the level of the hilum. Only the spleens that had normal shape and echotexture were measured. The mean splenic length and the 5th and 95th percentiles were determined for each age. The length was correlated with the sex, age, weight (WT), height, body mass index (BMI) and body surface area (BSA) of the subjects. A regression model for prediction of spleen dimension from age and body habitus was computed.
Results: There was a significant correlation between splenic length and age, P < 0.001. Males had statistically significant longer spleen length than females. The splenic length correlated best with BSA, followed by body WT and least with BMI.
Conclusions: This study noted racial variation between the established Nigerian values and results from other countries of the world. For the first time, a baseline value for splenic size for the Nigerian Children of various ages has been established with a regression model for predicting the splenic sizes.
Key words: Children, echotexture, Nigeria, sonography, spleen, splenomegaly, ultrasonography