splenic atrophy

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Hyposplenism is seen in patients with sickle-cell disease and is due to splenic infarction, but it may also occur in patients with coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis. Occasionally it may be seen in patients with essential thrombocythaemia and ulcerative colitis.

  • splenic hypoplasia and asplenia are terms used to indicate complete or partial lack of functioning splenic tissue
  • absent (asplenia) or defective splenic function (hyposplenia) is associated with a high risk of fulminant bacterial infections, especially with encapsulated bacteria
    • hyposplenism
      • seen in patients with sickle-cell disease and is due to splenic infarction
      • also occurs in patients with coeliac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis
      • other associations include essential thrombocythaemia and ulcerative colitis.
    • patients are at particular risk from Pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenzae, and meningococcus
  • loss of splenic tissue usually occurs as a result of surgical removal or autosplenectomy (ie, infarction in patients with sickle hemoglobinopathies)
  • in certain conditions, patients may lack normal splenic function despite having spleens that are normal in size or even enlarged
    • called functional asplenia and is also associated with fulminant bacterial sepsis risk.

 

Last reviewed 01/2018

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