Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 1283
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
and below this with the tail of the pancreas. It presents near its medial border a long fissure, termed the hilum. This is pierced by several irregular apertures, for the entrance and exit of vessels and nerves.
  The renal surface (facies renalis) is directed medialward and downward. It is somewhat flattened, is considerably narrower than the gastric surface, and is in relation with the upper part of the anterior surface of the left kidney and occasionally with the left suprarenal gland.
  The superior extremity (extremitas superior) is directed toward the vertebral column, where it lies on a level with the eleventh thoracic vertebra. The lower extremity or colic surface (extremitas inferior) is flat, triangular in shape, and rests upon the left flexure of the colon and the phrenicocolic ligament, and is generally in contact with the tail of the pancreas. The anterior border (margo anterior) is free, sharp, and thin, and is often notched, especially below; it separates the diaphragmatic from the gastric surface. The posterior border (margo posterior), more rounded and blunter than the anterior, separates the renal from the diaphragmatic surface; it corresponds to the lower border of the eleventh rib and lies between the diaphragm and left kidney. The intermediate margin is the ridge which separates the renal and gastric surfaces. The inferior border (internal border) separates the diaphragmatic from the colic surface.
  The spleen is almost entirely surrounded by peritoneum, which is firmly adherent to its capsule. It is held in position by two folds of this membrane. One, the phrenicolienal ligament, is derived from the peritoneum, where the wall of the general peritoneal cavity comes into contact with the omental bursa between the left kidney and the spleen; the lienal vessels pass between its two layers (Fig. 1039). The other fold, the gastrolienal ligament, is also formed of two layers, derived from the general cavity and the omental respectively, where they meet between the spleen and stomach (Fig. 1039); the short gastric and left gastroepiploic branches of the lienal artery run between its two layers. The lower end of the spleen is supported by the phrenicocolic ligament (see page 1155).
  The size and weight of the spleen are liable to very extreme variations at different periods of life, in different individuals, and in the same individual under different conditions. In the adult it is usually about 12 cm. in length, 7 cm. in breadth, and 3 or 4 cm. in thickness, and weighs about 200 grams. At birth its weight, in proportion to the entire body, is almost equal to what is observed in the adult, being as 1 to 350; while in the adult it varies from 1 to 320 and 400. In old age the organ not only diminishes in weight, but decreases considerably in proportion to the entire body, being as 1 to 700. The size of the spleen is increased during and after digestion, and varies according to the state of nutrition of the body, being large in highly fed, and small in starved animals. In malarial fever it becomes much enlarged, weighing occasionally as much as 9 kilos.
  Frequently in the neighborhood of the spleen, and especially in the gastrolienal ligament and greater omentum, small nodules of splenic tissue may be found, either isolated or connected to the spleen by thin bands of splenic tissue. They are known as accessory spleens (lien accessorius; supernumerary spleen). They vary in size from that of a pea to that of a plum.

Structure.—The spleen is invested by two coats: an external serous and an internal fibroelastic coat.
  The external or serous coat (tunica serosa) is derived from the peritoneum; it is thin, smooth, and in the human subject intimately adherent to the fibroelastic coat. It invests the entire organ, except at the hilum and along the lines of reflection of the phrenicolienal and gastrolienal ligaments.
  The fibroelastic coat (tunica albuginea) invests the organ, and at the hilum is reflected inward upon the vessels in the form of sheaths. From these sheaths, as well as from the inner surface of the fibroelastic coat, numerous small fibrous bands, trabeculæ (Fig. 1189), are given off in all directions; these uniting, constitute the frame-work of the spleen. The spleen therefore consists


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