In 1916 Kaznelson1 reported the first splenectomy as a therapeutic measure in a case of idiopathic purpura haemorrhagica. Since then this procedure has been carried out in hundreds of cases and has become a standard practice in many clinics all over the world. Few persons doubt the effectiveness of this form of treatment in properly selected cases not only in rehabilitating those persons who are recurrently or chronically invalided but also in actually preserving the lives of some patients who suffer from acute hemorrhagic phenomena.
Splenectomy is still an empirical procedure, since the role of the spleen in the disease and the mechanism by which its removal causes remission are unknown. Until the fundamental nature of the condition is understood. the study of all its phases will continue to be of interest. One such phase pertains to the permanence of remissions produced by splenectomy.
One of us (T. W.)
VAUGHAN SL, WRIGHT T. PURPURA HAEMORRHAGICA: WITH ESPECIAL REFERENCE TO PERMANENCE OF REMISSION FOLLOWING SPLENECTOMY. JAMA. 1939;112(21):2120–2123. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800210014005
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