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Echocardiographic documentation of splenic anatomy in complex congenital heart disease

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      Abstract

      Splenic abnormalities are associated with complex, cyanotic congenital heart disease (CHD).1,2 Patients with abnormal spleens may also have an increased susceptibility to infection,3,4 or additional characteristic gastrointestinal anomalies,2 For these reasons, it is important to routinely define the splenic status of patients with complex CHD. In the past, determination of splenic status needed either radiation exposure (computed tomography or radionuclide imaging)5,6 or indirect evidence from blood smears (presence or absence of Howell-Jolly bodies).1,7 Ultrasonography can image the spleen consistently and clearly.8 Routine ultrasonic imaging of the spleen as a part of a comprehensive echocardiographic examination has not been reported. This study reports our recent experience with routine visualization of the spleen during complete echocardiographic examinations of patients with complex CHD.
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