Partial splenic embolization is an alternative procedure to total splenectomy in patients with hypersplenism, and was performed in 10 patients with beta-thalassaemia major who were then followed for 5 to 7 years. The results were compared with those of a 7-yr follow-up of 6 splenectomized thalassaemics. The blood consumption decreased and the leucocyte counts increased in both groups of patients. However, after partial splenic embolization, severe thrombocytosis--which is typical of splenectomized patients--did not develop and there were no severe complications from the operation, such as infections or reappearance of hypersplenism. In addition, the minor surgical injury and avoidance of abdominal scars were further advantages of partial splenic embolization over total splenectomy.