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September 1990

The Value of Splenic Autotransplantation-Reply

Arch Surg. 1990;125(9):1224. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410210150029

In Reply.—Without doubt Drew et al, in their letter, emphasized the Achilles' heel of the autotransplantation of the spleen as an alternative method of preserving splenic function. Their cited report1 about the insignificant difference of serum immunoglobulins between patients with varying amounts of splenosis and those without splenic function, following pneumococcal immunization, is not quantitative with regard to residual splenic tissue and, therefore, is inferential.

In our report,2 the exact amount of implanted splenic tissue is documented and the patients in the series had had the surgical procedure more than 12 weeks previously. Measuring their immunoglobulin concentration after pneumococcal immunization will provide a more reliable answer regarding the capability of splenic implantation to protect the recipient against infection. Preliminary results of this ongoing clinical study will be reported.