International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-017-2335-9 Pages: 157-165

Persistent changes in circulating white blood cell populations after splenectomy

1. St. Antonius Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine

2. St. Antonius Hospital, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology

3. St. Antonius Hospital, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Haematology

4. University College Roosevelt, Department of Science

5. University Medical Centre Utrecht, Department of Internal Medicine and Dermatology

Correspondence to:
Minke A. E. Rab



The effect of splenectomy on the incidence of infections and thromboembolisms has been investigated thoroughly. Nevertheless, the long-term effects of splenectomy on immunological profile and circulating blood counts have not been described before. To study such long-term effects, we analysed several parameters in splenectomised trauma patients and compared the results of this group (“otherwise healthy patients”) to patients with a specific underlying disease. We measured platelet count, leukocytes and differential, lymphocyte subsets, serum levels of immunoglobulins, and complement pathways in 113 patients. Indications to perform a splenectomy were trauma (n = 42), Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 24), hereditary spherocytosis (n = 21), and immune thrombocytopenia (n = 26). In trauma patients lymphocytes and lymphocytes subsets were particularly elevated compared to normal population values. Splenectomised patients with Hodgkin lymphoma had significant lower numbers of T lymphocytes than trauma patients. Significant increases in platelets, leukocytes, and monocytes were observed in patients with hereditary spherocytosis. Occurrence of MBL genotype was different in ITP patients than in other splenectomised groups and the normal population. In splenectomised patients (> 4 years), platelet counts and lymphocyte subsets are increased which persist over time. As a result, these blood counts in splenectomised patients differ from reference values in the normal population.

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