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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 1999 January-February;54(1-2):31-6

language: Italian

Autologous splenic transplantation in post-traumatic splenectomy

Piccardo A., Santoro E., Masini R., Bartolomeo S., Pramaggiore P., Boschi M.


Background and aims. The authors report their experience regarding the use of autologous splenic transplantation in post-traumatic splenectomy unable to be treated using conservative surgery. After reviewing the international literature on the subject, they report a retrospective survey of cases treated from January 1992 to December 1996.
Methods. Owing to the particular logistic location of the hospital in an area with a high density of industry and at the crossroad of major road and rail routes, a total of 56 patients were admitted to the Emergency Ward suffering from abdominal trauma in 4 years. The patients included in this study could not be treated using conservative surgery: the study group included 15 patients aged between 14 and 76 years old. The surgical technique consisted of the graft of sections of splenic pulp in omental pockets, subsequently marked using metal clips. In order to evaluate splenic immunological function a complete hemochromocytometric examination was performed in each patient at the same time as emergency preoperative tests consisting of peripheral blood strip and pitted cells (PC) assay. This was followed by postoperative evaluations at weekly intervals, including platelet count, Howell-Jolly bodies assay (HJb), immunoglobulin M assay and hepatosplenic scintigraphy using erythrocytes marked with 99m-Technetium pertechnetate (99mTc).
Results. An adequate functional recovery of splenic tissue was achieved in all patients with partial recovery of hemocatheretic and immunological function.
Conclusions. The authors' clinical experience confirmed the data inferred from animal experiments: the simplicity of the preparation technique and the autologous transplantation of splenic pulp in the absence of major complications confirms the possibility of applying this method in all splenectomies performed under emergency conditions.

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