Hematologic outcomes after total splenectomy and partial splenectomy for congenital hemolytic anemia

J Pediatr Surg. 2016 Jan;51(1):122-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2015.10.028. Epub 2015 Oct 23.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to define the hematologic response to total splenectomy (TS) or partial splenectomy (PS) in children with hereditary spherocytosis (HS) or sickle cell disease (SCD).

Methods: The Splenectomy in Congenital Hemolytic Anemia (SICHA) consortium registry collected hematologic outcomes of children with CHA undergoing TS or PS to 1 year after surgery. Using random effects mixed modeling, we evaluated the association of operative type with change in hemoglobin, reticulocyte counts, and bilirubin. We also compared laparoscopic to open splenectomy.

Results: The analysis included 130 children, with 62.3% (n=81) undergoing TS. For children with HS, all hematologic measures improved after TS, including a 4.1g/dl increase in hemoglobin. Hematologic parameters also improved after PS, although the response was less robust (hemoglobin increase 2.4 g/dl, p<0.001). For children with SCD, there was no change in hemoglobin. Laparoscopy was not associated with differences in hematologic outcomes compared to open. TS and laparoscopy were associated with shorter length of stay.

Conclusion: Children with HS have an excellent hematologic response after TS or PS, although the hematologic response is more robust following TS. Children with SCD have smaller changes in their hematologic parameters. These data offer guidance to families and clinicians considering TS or PS.

Keywords: Congenital hemolytic anemia; Hematologic outcomes; Splenectomy; Surgical technique.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / blood*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / surgery*
  • Bilirubin / blood
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy
  • Male
  • Registries
  • Reticulocyte Count
  • Spherocytosis, Hereditary / blood*
  • Spherocytosis, Hereditary / surgery*
  • Splenectomy / methods*


  • Hemoglobins
  • Bilirubin