What is the role of splenectomy in the treatment of HIV infection?

Updated: Jan 02, 2019
  • Author: Robert J Carpenter, DO, AAHIVS, FACP; Chief Editor: John Bartlett, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

In patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, splenectomy is an option if the condition is refractory to medical treatment. Most patients with HIV-associated thrombocytopenia respond to splenectomy. Splenectomy is also an option in refractory cases of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, but the response rate is highly variable.

Because of the risk of infections with encapsulated organisms, all patients infected with HIV, especially those who are about to undergo splenectomy, must be immunized with pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine.


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