When is splenectomy indicated in the treatment of anemia?

Updated: Oct 08, 2018
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Splenectomy is useful in the treatment of autoimmune hemolytic anemias and in certain hereditary hemolytic disorders (ie, hereditary spherocytosis and elliptocytosis, certain unstable Hb disorders, pyruvic kinase deficiency). Improvement in survival rates has been reported in patients with aplastic anemia, but splenectomy is not the preferred therapy. Leg ulcers have shown improvement in some patients with thalassemia. Prior to splenectomy, patients should be immunized with polyvalent pneumococcal vaccine. Preferably, this should be administered more than 1 week prior to surgery.


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