Partial splenic embolization for cancer patients with thrombocytopenia requiring systemic chemotherapy

Christopher R. Kauffman, Armeen Mahvash, Scott Kopetz, Robert A. Wolff, Joe Ensor, Michael J. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Partial splenic embolization (PSE) has been used to improve he-matologic parameters related to hypersplenism. The purpose of this study was to review our institutional experience with PSE for cancer patients with thrombocytopenia because of splenic sequestration precluding the administration of systemic therapy (ST). METHODS. A retrospective review of cancer patients undergoing PSE was undertaken. Twenty-eight patients underwent PSE to correct thrombocytopenia to facilitate the initiation or resumption of ST. Primary and secondary endpoints of the current study included a platelet count increase > 150 K/UL and the initiation of ST, respectively. Periprocedural laboratory values and adverse events were recorded. RESULTS. Thirty PSEs were performed in 28 patients. Two patients underwent repeat PSE because of recurrent thrombocytopenia after the successful initiation of ST. For procedures with adequate follow-up, primary and secondary endpoints were achieved in 96.3% (26 of 27 patients) and 95.7% (22 of 23 patients) of patients, respectively. The mean platelet count was 81 K/UL immediately before PSE and peaked at 293 K/UL after PSE. For 23 patients with frequent laboratory follow-up, the mean time to a platelet count > 150 K/UL was 10 days. The mean hospital stay was 4.5 days. Postprocedure abdominal pain occurred in all patients. Fever was documented in 16 patients and pulmonary consolidation/atelectasis or effusion was documented in 10 patients; 9 patients received empiric antibiotic coverage. The median overall survival was 9.40 months (95% confidence interval, 8.2-10.7 months) among the 28 patients after PSE. CONCLUSIONS. PSE is a safe and effective means of managing thrombocytopenia secondary to hypersplenism to facilitate the administration of ST in patients with cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2283-2288
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2008


  • Embolization
  • Hypersplenism
  • Interventional procedure
  • Neoplasm
  • Spleen
  • Thrombocytopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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