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September 19, 1931


JAMA. 1931;97(12):855-856. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730120035013

In 1916 Kaznelson1 reported an increase of platelets and a disappearance of hemorrhages in purpura hemorrhagica following splenectomy. Since then the literature has contained many clinical reports of the value of this procedure. Animal experimentation, however, has not supported the clinical observations. It has been frequently shown that splenectomy in normal animals causes a considerable increase in the number of platelets in the blood stream. Bedson2 found that the platelet count returned to normal in three weeks after splenectomy in normal guinea-pigs. Bedson3 blocked the reticulo-endothelial system with carbon particles and observed a considerable increase in platelets. He2 also produced an experimental purpura in guinea-pigs with an antiplatelet serum. Splenectomy gave the animals a degree of protection. He declared that splenectomy gives only temporary relief in purpura hemorrhagica. Dawbarn, Earlam and Evans4 found that the platelets in man increased with other operations as well as