Splenectomy for hematologic disease. The UCLA experience with 306 patients

G. Musser, G. Lazar, W. Hocking, W. Busuttil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Between 1956 and 1981, 306 splenectomies for hematologic diseases were performed at the UCLA Medical Center. Of these operations, more than 75% were performed for therapeutic reasons to control anemia, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, or painful symptoms of splenomegaly. Of the 65 patients who had idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, 77% showed an excellent response, and of the 39 patients who had hereditary spherocytosis, 90% responded. Other diseases with predictably good response rates were autoimmune hemolytic anemias, Felty's syndrome, and hairy cell leukemia. Forty patients with Hodgkin's disease had splenectomies for diagnostic purposes the last 10 years. The overall morbidity and mortality were 24% and 6% , respectively, the most common complications being pneumonia, wound infections, and local postoperative bleeding, and the most common cause of death being sepsis. The review supports the thesis that in carefully selected patients, therapeutic splenectomy can have desirable palliative effects and that diagnostic splenectomy has a sufficiently low risk to warrant its consideration in patients with Hodgkin's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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