Document Detail

Prevention of overwhelming postsplenectomy infection in thalassemia patients by partial rather than total splenectomy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18031639     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to evaluate the protective role of partial versus total splenectomy against sepsis in patients with thalassaemia when other preventive measures are not available. Overwhelming postsplenectomy infection is a serious complication of splenectomy in these patients, and most present with pneumococcal septicemia. Pneumococcal vaccine given before surgery is a well-established preventive measure.
METHODS: In this study, we compared 2 populations of patients from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, both of whom underwent splenectomy for thalassaemia. All patients from Saudi Arabia were given a preoperative pneumococcal vaccine and underwent total splenectomy after about 4 weeks. Unfortunately, this vaccine was not available for the Iraqi patients. Partial splenectomy was offered to many of these patients as a protective measure against this fatal complication.
RESULTS: A significant difference was found between the total splenectomy fatalities in the 2 groups. There were 5 deaths in the 30 enrolled Iraqi patients over 4 years. One death over a 12-year period was reported in the 22 patients from Saudi Arabia. Partial splenectomy was associated with a dramatic reduction of mortality in the Iraqi patients. None of the 12 patients died during a follow-up period of 4 years.
CONCLUSIONS: Pneumovax is a powerful prophylactic tool against overwhelming postsplenectomy infection in patients with thalassaemia and should be used whenever available. In poor or problematic countries with limited health resources, partial rather than total splenectomy could offer an alternative measure to avoid this fatal complication.
Anwar K Sheikha; Ziyan T Salih; Kalandar H Kasnazan; Mohammad K Khoshnaw; Talal Al-Maliki; Tarek A Al-Azraqi; Mubarak H Zafer
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Evaluation Studies; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Canadian journal of surgery. Journal canadien de chirurgie     Volume:  50     ISSN:  1488-2310     ISO Abbreviation:  Can J Surg     Publication Date:  2007 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-11-22     Completed Date:  2007-12-10     Revised Date:  2013-06-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372715     Medline TA:  Can J Surg     Country:  Canada    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  382-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Pathology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss. 39216, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Child, Preschool
Follow-Up Studies
Prospective Studies
Retrospective Studies
Splenectomy / adverse effects*,  methods*,  mortality
Surgical Wound Infection / etiology,  prevention & control*
Survival Rate
Thalassemia / surgery*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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