a large glandlike but ductless organ in the upper part of the abdominal cavity on the left side, lateral to the cardiac end of the stomach. Called also lien. adj., adj splen´ic. It is the largest collection of reticuloendothelial cells in the body and is composed of spongelike tissue of two types: red pulp, which is the dark reddish brown substance filling the interspaces of the sinuses of the spleen, and white pulp, which consists of sheaths of lymphatic tissue surrounding the arteries of the spleen.
It is enclosed in a dense capsule. In a normal adult the spleen is about 12.5 cm long and weighs about 140 to 210 g. After gastric digestion and in the presence of disease the spleen enlarges.