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Elective partial splenectomy in childhood

Journal of Pediatric Surgery
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0022-3468(98)90651-0
  • Medicine


Abstract Background & Purpose: The indications and results of elective partial splenectomy in children remain uncertain. The aim of this study was to determine (1) the indications for elective partial splenectomy (EPS), (2) the extent of splenic resection, and (3) the complications of EPS. Methods: Patients who underwent EPS from three centers over a 10-year period (1986 through 1996) were studied. Variables analyzed included clinical presentation and indications for EPS, extent of resection performed, perioperative transusions, and complications. Postoperatively, splenic viability was determined by regular Doppler ultrasound scan and splenic function on peripheral blood film analysis. Results: EPS was attempted in 12 children for various conditions: giant epithelial cyst (n=6), hypersplenism and metabolic disease (n=4), pseudotumor (n=1), and abscess (n=1). One procedure was converted to total splenectomy because of thin splenic tissue around an infected giant cyst. No child required transfusion for splenic bleeding. There were no postoperative complications or deaths. Only 7 of the 12 children received prophylactic preoperative immunisation. In the 11 successful cases splenic remnant viability remains confirmed by ultrasound scan and normal blood film. There has been no significant splenic regrowth or recurrent hypersplenism in the four children with metabolic disorders. Conclusions: EPS is suitable for benign splenic conditions and can be performed without major blood loss. Preoperative vaccination is advisable. Up to 95% of the spleen can be safely removed, basing the blood supply of the residual spleen tissue on peripheral polar vessels, with adequate postoperative function.

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