Splenic metastases

Last revised by Yusra Sheikh on 15 Apr 2020

Splenic metastases are relatively rare on imaging, although they are more commonly found on autopsy. Typically they are part of a widespread metastatic disease.

The rate of splenic metastases varies between 1-10% of autopsy studies, depending on whether microscopic or macroscopic metastases were included 1.

Most commonly metastases are a solitary splenic (solid or cystic) mass, may rarely be infiltrative 1,4. Primary sources include 1,2,5:

  • solitary or multiple well-defined masses
  • most commonly appear as a hypoechoic lesion (target appearance), although can be iso- or hyperechoic 3,5
  • contrast-enhanced US (CEUS): rapid wash-in and wash-out 5
  • usually hypoattenuating masses
  • cystic components may be present 5
  • T1: low signal intensity
  • T2: high signal intensity
  • C+ (Gd): variable, mostly depending on the primary malignancy 5

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: metastatic melanoma
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  • Case 2: unknown primary
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