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November 1980

Splenic Regeneration-Reply

Author Affiliations

Piscataway, NJ

Arch Surg. 1980;115(11):1401-1402. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380110133023

In Reply.—The data presented by Scher and Coil lend further support to the now well-documented ability of the spleen to regenerate after partial splenectomy. Different rates of regeneration may well be explained by species differences and are far less important than their demonstration that these remnants protect animals against pneumococcal challenge. Indeed, more recent experiments from our laboratory show that both hilar and short gastric remnants weighing less than 25% of the spleen's original mass will regenerate and protect recipients against subsequent pneumococcal bacteremia.1 There is no reason to presume that even smaller splenic remnants will not do the same. These data appear to support splenic salvage even after severe injuries provided a small amount of splenic tissue remains attached to identifiable blood vessels. The role of the spleen in protection against pneumococcal sepsis appears to be related to its filtering effect rather than to immunologic functions.

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