Post-splenectomy and hyposplenism - Lancet review

The spleen links innate and adaptive immunity.

The impairment of splenic function is defined as hyposplenism. The term asplenia refers to the absence of the spleen, a condition that is rarely congenital and mostly post-surgical.


Spleen. Image source: National Cancer Institute and Wikipedia, public domain.

Complications of hyposplenism and asplenia

Hyposplenism and asplenia might predispose individuals to thromboembolic events. However, infectious complications are the most widely recognised consequences of these states.

Splenectomy and hyposplenism are associated with infections by encapsulated bacteria with high mortality, fulminant course, and refractoriness to common treatment.

Prevention through vaccination and antibiotic prophylaxis is the basis of management.

References:
Post-splenectomy and hyposplenic states. Antonio Di Sabatino MD, Rita Carsetti MD, Prof Gino Roberto Corazza MD. The Lancet, Volume 378, Issue 9785, Pages 86 - 97, 2 July 2011.

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