THE SPLEEN has a well-known role in the regulation of blood thrombocyte levels, and its absence may contribute to the occurrence of recurrent infections, as cited by Smith et al1 and Finland.2 We have recently cared for a middle-aged man with congenital absence of the spleen, who had pneumonia, an acute inflammatory aortic-arch syndrome, and multiple arterial thromboses with cerebral infarction which led to his death.
Report of a Case
A 41-year-old white man, in May 1962, experienced the onset of headaches which involved the left side of the face and the left eye, lasted an hour or two, and occurred almost daily. The headaches were associated with an intense redness and lacrimation of the left eye and were treated by injections of histamine acid phosphate, given at first twice weekly in small doses which were gradually increased. In June 1962, the headaches had disappeared, and the patient
Gilbert GJ, Phillippi PJ, Scripter LJ. Thrombotic Angiitis and Congenital Asplenia. JAMA. 1965;192(5):415-417. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080180073027