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July 1955

Surgical Aspects of Splenic Disease

AMA Arch Surg. 1955;71(1):33-46. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1955.01270130035006

It is well known that the spleen is not an organ necessary for life, but in spite of its seemingly slight importance there are a surprisingly large number of pathologic conditions resulting from its disease. Many of these diseases (e. g., thrombocytopenic purpura and hereditary spherocytic anemia) respond to splenectomy; accordingly there is little controversy regarding indications for splenectomy in these two diseases. However, in numerous other diseases, such as Banti's disease, acquired hemolytic anemia, and secondary thrombocytopenic purpura, results are inconstant and unpredictable; rarely are we able to explain why results are good or bad in the latter two diseases. For this reason there is much need for more study of splenic diseases, in the hope that we can arrive at a better understanding of indications for splenectomy. In the period 1936 to 1954 we have performed splenectomy on 137 patients with splenic disease. This excludes splenectomy for splenic

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