Palliative splenectomy in myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia

Leuk Lymphoma. Sep-Oct 2001;42(5):901-11. doi: 10.3109/10428190109097709.


Myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia (MMM) is a chronic myeloproliferative disorder in which the accumulation and growth of circulating myeloid progenitors in the spleen lead to pathologic enlargement of the organ with resulting mechanical discomfort, hypercatabolic symptoms, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and portal hypertension. Medical therapy and splenic irradiation may be of benefit in certain patients, yet many may still require splenectomy to palliate their symptoms. Although there is no clear survival advantage to splenectomy in MMM, the procedure can result in substantial palliation of symptoms. However, the surgical procedure is associated with an approximately 9% mortality rate, and the postsplenectomy occurrence of extreme thrombocytosis, hepatomegaly, and leukemic transformation is of major concern. The management of splenomegaly and the role of splenectomy in MMM are discussed in this review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Management
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / complications
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / surgery*
  • Splenectomy / adverse effects*
  • Splenectomy / mortality
  • Splenomegaly / etiology
  • Splenomegaly / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome