Thromboembolic complications after splenectomy for hematologic diseases

Am J Hematol. 2004 Jun;76(2):143-7. doi: 10.1002/ajh.20018.


Thromboembolic complications following splenectomy for hematologic diseases occur in up to 10% of patients and may range from portal vein thrombosis (PVT) to pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Up to now there exist no recommendations for the duration and intensity of prophylactic anticoagulation, which usually follows local institutional protocols. We report on three consecutive patients with severe portal vein thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism--one with fatal outcome--7 to 35 days after splenectomy for autoimmune hemolytic anemia, immunothrombocytopenia, and indolent lymphoma, respectively. Incidence and pathophysiology of thromboembolic events (TE) in this patient group as well as prophylactic anticoagulation will be discussed, including a review of the current literature on this topic.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Hemolytic / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Portal Vein / diagnostic imaging
  • Postoperative Complications / blood*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnostic imaging
  • Pulmonary Embolism / drug therapy
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / surgery
  • Radiography
  • Splenectomy / adverse effects*
  • Thromboembolism / diagnosis*
  • Thromboembolism / drug therapy
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / diagnostic imaging