Background: To show effectiveness of low-dose splenic irradiation in symptomatic congestive splenomegaly.
Methods: Five patients were referred to our department for symptomatic congestive splenomegaly within three years. Primary diseases were autoimmune hepatitis with liver cirrhosis (n=2), cystic fibrosis (n=1), granulomatous liver disease (n=1) and Werlhof disease with liver cirrhosis (n=1). Mean age was 54 years (range: 36-67). Patients received splenic irradiation with a total dose of 3 Gy (single dose: 0.5 Gy). One patient was re-irradiated after long-term failure with the same treatment schedule.
Results: In four patients long term relief of splenic pain could be observed during the follow-up time of median 20 (range: 2-36) months. Four patients showed haematological response after irradiation with an increase of erythrocytes, leucocytes and/or platelets. A slightly decrease in spleen size was found in two patients.
Conclusions: Low-dose splenic irradiation in symptomatic congestive splenomegaly is feasible and perhaps as effective as in lympho-and myeloproliferative malignancies regarding pain relief and haematological response.