Reversible functional asplenia in systemic lupus erythematosus

Clin Nucl Med. 1991 Oct;16(10):760-2. doi: 10.1097/00003072-199110000-00010.


A 44-year-old woman with a history of systemic lupus erythematosus on no steroid or immunosuppressive medication presented in septic shock complicated by renal failure and disseminated intravascular coagulation. The patient was treated with antibiotics. Liver-spleen scintigraphy with Tc-99m albumin colloid initially failed to reveal tracer accumulation in the spleen. Follow-up study after one year revealed normal tracer uptake in the spleen. The transient blockade of reticuloendothelial system by immune complexes is the most likely mechanism. Other possible mechanisms include disturbed vascular supply due to thrombosis secondary to the disseminated intravascular coagulation or vasculitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Splenic Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Splenic Diseases / etiology
  • Technetium Tc 99m Aggregated Albumin


  • Technetium Tc 99m Aggregated Albumin