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September 1953


Author Affiliations

From the Division of Surgery (Dr. Ferris), and the Division of Medicine (Dr. Hargraves), Mayo Clinic.

AMA Arch Surg. 1953;67(3):402-407. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1953.01260040409012

SPLENOMEGALY presents a problem to internist and surgeon alike, and many times more information is needed than is made available by our usual methods of examination. Careful clinical evaluation, examination of the peripheral blood, and study of the bone marrow often leave us without an accurate explanation for the enlargement of the spleen. For this reason, splenic puncture has long been considered a procedure which might be helpful in the differential diagnosis of the splenomegalies. Splenic puncture, however, is not without danger, and the numerous deaths recorded in the past which have followed this procedure have made most workers fearful of employing it. It seemed to us that there still is considerable danger in any splenic-puncture technique in which a piece of splenic tissue is removed for histologic examination. On the other hand, we feel that there is little, if any, danger in the type of puncture which yields material

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