Splenectomy in systemic lupus erythematosis

Am Surg. 1986 Jul;52(7):366-70.


Of 860 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who were evaluated during a 25-year-period, 16 (1.9%) underwent splenectomy. Twelve of these patients had steroid resistant thrombocytopenia. An excellent long-term outcome occurred in eight (67%), significant improvement occurred in three (25%), and one patient died who also had chronic active hepatitis and portal hypertension. In two of three patients (67%) with autoimmune hemolytic anemia, the condition was corrected by splenectomy; in the third patient there was some improvement, but reduced doses of corticosteroids were required. One patient with severe neutropenia and recurrent bacterial infection obtained lasting benefit following splenectomy. Histologic examination of the removed spleen was not helpful in corroborating the diagnosis of SLE in these well established cases. Splenectomy had no adverse affect upon other aspects of SLE, in particular upon renal function. The authors conclude that the indications for splenectomy have proven to be of value in selected SLE patients with autoimmune or hypersplenic cytopenia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / blood
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / diagnosis
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / pathology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Platelet Count
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Splenectomy*
  • Thrombocytopenia / etiology
  • Thrombocytopenia / therapy