Spleen
General
Splenectomy

Author: Jaleh Mansouri, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 28 February 2018, last major update October 2012

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PubMed Search: Splenectomy[TI] spleen[TI] free full text[sb]

Cite this page: Mansouri, J. Splenectomy. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/spleensplenectomy.html. Accessed July 17th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Usually performed for traumatic rupture
  • Usually no clinical consequence in adults but elevated risk of infection is present, especially in elderly and those with malignancy (Med J Aust 2012;196:582)
  • In children, associated with increased incidence and severity of infections, particularly encapsulated bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae; overwhelming infections (OPSI: overwhelming postsplenectomy infection) may begin days to years after splenectomy, without an identifiable focus and have 50 - 80% mortality despite antibiotics
  • Increased susceptibility to severe infections with intraerythrocytic parasites Babesia and Plasmodium (Clin Microbiol Rev 2010;23:740)
  • In children, splenectomy is avoided in favor of splenic repair, partial splenectomy or splenic autotransplant
  • Must consider possibility of accessory spleen(s) if splenectomy is performed for hematologic disorders
Laboratory
  • Howell-Jolly bodies are evidence of no splenic function
Case reports
Peripheral smear images

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Howell-Jolly bodies