Partial splenectomy prevents splenic sequestration crises in sickle cell disease

Document Type



Paediatric Surgery


Purpose: Acute splenic sequestrations (SSs) are potentially fatal complications in sickle cell disease (SCD). Total splenectomies in young patients may predispose them to a higher risk of overwhelming infections, whereas partial splenectomy may maintain immunocompetence. We present our series of partial splenectomies in patients with multiple SS episodes.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 6 patients who underwent open partial splenectomies for SS. Data on their clinical courses were collected and analyzed.
Results: None of the 6 patients had SS postprocedure, down from 2.1 +/- 1.0 (P = .003) sequestrations per year and 3.5 +/- 1.4 (P = .002) total sequestrations per patient. The transfusion requirements were significantly reduced postoperatively (10.2 +/- 5.6 vs 2.0 +/- 3.1 per year; P = .002). There was no increase in the infection-related hospital admissions during the period of follow-up (1.5 +/- 1.8 vs 0.8 +/- 0.8 per year after partial splenectomy; P = .363). The upper pole was preserved in all cases with blood supply off the main splenic artery.
Conclusions: Partial splenectomy decreases the risk of SS in SCD and reduces the need for blood transfusions. Infection rates did not increase after the procedure during the follow-up period. Partial splenectomy should be considered for patients who experience multiple acute SS crises or have long-term transfusion requirements.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Pediatric Surgery