Partial splenectomy for children with congenital hemolytic anemia and massive splenomegaly

Diana L. Diesen, Sherri A. Zimmerman, Courtney D. Thornburg, Russell E. Ware, Michael Skinner, Keith T. Oldham, Henry E. Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Partial splenectomy is an alternative to total splenectomy for the treatment of congenital hemolytic anemias (CHAs) in children, although the feasibility of this technique in the setting of massive splenomegaly is unknown. This study was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of partial splenectomy in children with CHAs and massive splenomegaly. This retrospective study examined 29 children with CHAs who underwent partial splenectomy. Children were divided into 2 groups based on splenic size: 8 children had splenic volumes greater than 500 mL, whereas 21 children had splenic volumes less than 500 mL. Outcome variables included perioperative complications, transfusion requirements, hematocrits, reticulocyte counts, bilirubin levels, splenic sequestration, and splenic regrowth. All 29 children underwent successful partial splenectomy with 0.02 to 10 years of follow-up. After partial splenectomy, children overall had decreased transfusion requirements, increased hematocrits, decreased bilirubin levels, decreased reticulocyte counts, and elimination of splenic sequestration. Children with massive splenomegaly had similar outcomes compared with children without massive splenomegaly. Long-term complications included 3 mild infections, 4 cases of gallstones requiring cholecystectomy, and 1 child who required completion splenectomy. Partial splenectomy is a safe, effective, and technically feasible option for children with various CHAs, even in the setting of massive splenomegaly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-472
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Congenital hemolytic anemia
  • Partial splenectomy
  • Spherocytosis
  • Splenomegaly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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