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May 1983

Incidence and Function of Residual Splenic Tissue Following Splenectomy for Trauma in Adults

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Livingston, Levine, and Sirinek) and Radiology (Dr Lecklitner), University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Arch Surg. 1983;118(5):617-620. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1983.01390050083016

• A limited study of children requiring splenectomy for trauma suggested a 59% incidence of splenosis. We attempted to confirm these results in 40 adult patients with trauma. Residual splenic tissue, from either splenosis or accessory spleens, was seen in 26% of patients who underwent splenectomy for trauma and subsequent splenic scintigraphy. There was no significant difference in serum IgM levels between control patients and splenectomy patients with or without residual splenic tissue. There was also no difference in the percentage of pitted RBCs in splenectomized patients with or without residual splenic tissue. However, both groups of splenectomized patients had significantly higher numbers of pitted RBCs than did controls. These results indicate that the incidence of residual splenic tissue, though significant, is lower than previously reported, and that natural splenosis probably results in a small splenic mass incapable of restoring total splenic function.

(Arch Surg 1983;118:617-620)