Calcified granulomas in the spleen are a common finding on imaging studies. Calcified granulomas are most commonly the result of prior infection which has healed. The calcified granulomas are an incidental finding which means they are not usually the cause of any symptoms.
What is a calcified granuloma in the spleen?
Calcified granulomas in the spleen is the result of prior infection which has healed. This is often the result of infection with histoplasmosis and tuberculosis. We often see multiple splenic calcifications which are typically less than 1 centimeter in size.
Calcified splenic cyst
A splenic cyst can have calcifications but is not confused for granulomas. Splenic granulomas are typically completely calcified and white whereas cysts will be partially calcified and filled with fluid.
Symptoms of calcified granuloma in the spleen
There are typically no symptoms. They are the sequela of prior infection which has healed.
How is splenic calcified granuloma diagnosed?
Splenic calcified granuloma is diagnosed with X-rays, ultrasound and CT.
What does splenic calcified granuloma look like on imaging?
On X-rays, we will see calcifications or small white spots in the left upper abdomen where the spleen is located.
On ultrasound, we will see small white spots which cast shadows in the spleen.
CT shows the clearest picture of calcified granulomas. We will see multiple small white spots throughout the spleen. The appearance is characteristic.
MRI does not show calcifications. We may see multiple small lesions in the spleen.
What else can look like calcified granuloma in the spleen in radiology?
There are many calcified lesions of spleen, however, calcified granulomas are characteristic in appearance and rarely confused for other disease.
Various cysts and pseudocysts, prior infarcts, metastasis and some primary tumors of spleen can calcify. Splenic artery aneurysms are often calcified.
What causes calcified granuloma in the spleen?
Calcified granulomas form as a result of prior healed infection. This is often with histoplasmosis and tuberculosis with other infections being less common.
Sarcoidosis can cause granulomas to form. Sarcoidosis is a widespread inflammatory disease of the body which can involve different tissues and organs.
What is a granuloma?
Granulomatous inflammation is a specific chronic inflammation that occurs from injury to tissues. This can involve infections, allergens, cancer and other causes.
Is a calcified granuloma in the spleen dangerous?
No. Calcified granulomas indicate old healed infection. It is important to remember that not every calcified lesion in the spleen is a granuloma. Some cysts, cancers, and other abnormalities can calcify.
There can also be active infection elsewhere in the body when we see calcified granulomas in the spleen.
What type of doctor treats calcified granuloma in the spleen?
This is not a finding that requires treatment. It is an incidental finding which is not responsible for your symptoms. The doctor who ordered the imaging study will discuss the results with you and explain the findings.
Calcified granuloma in the spleen treatment
There is no treatment for calcified splenic granulomas. This indicates prior infection which has healed. Treatment may be indicated if there is active infection elsewhere in the body.
Calcified granuloma in the spleen: summary
Calcified granulomas are a common incidental finding on imaging studies. Calcified granulomas indicate a prior infection which has healed. This is most commonly seen with histoplasmosis and tuberculosis.
The appearance is usually characteristic but it’s important to keep in mind that other abnormalities of spleen can also calcify. There is usually no treatment necessary for calcified splenic granulomas.