Autosplenectomy

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List of terms related to Autosplenectomy

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


An autosplenectomy (from 'auto-' self, '-splen-' spleen, '-ectomy' removal) occurs when a disease damages the spleen to such an extent that it is non-functioning and so equivalent to the spleen having been surgically removed (splenectomy) .

Causes

This may occur in sickle-cell disease and spherocytosis when abnormal red blood cells repeatedly block off small blood vessels, causing infarction of parts of the spleen.

Consequences

Absence of effective splenic function (asplenia) is associated with increased risks of overwhelming post splenectomy infection. Protocols involving vaccination and prophylactic antibiotics can reduce these risks.



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