[Skip to Navigation]
December 1959

Infection in Children Following Splenectomy for Traumatic Rupture

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, Queens General Hospital Center; The Pediatric Surgical Division, Jewish Hospital; and the Department of Surgery, Maimonides Hospital.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1959;98(6):710-712. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1959.02070020712006

Does splenectomy in children influence susceptibility to infection? Since 1952, when King and Schumacker7 reported five cases of severe infection in infants following splenectomy, this question has been the subject of much controversy.2-7,9,12,13 We are presenting a follow-up study of 33 apparently normal children who had splenectomy for traumatic rupture. This is an attempt to establish the incidence of acute sterile pericarditis, sepsis, meningitis, or any other severe infection especially when due to the Pneumococcus in this type of patient. Other authors4-7,12 have reported a 4% to 28% incidence of these severe postsplenectomy infections in infants and children. Although the indication for operation varied, it was usually for some hematological disorder. Cooley's anemia was by far the commonest of these diseases. However, these series contained few cases of traumatic rupture. This paper deals only with the problem as it pertains to normal children who have had splenectomy