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Laparoscopic splenectomies for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: experience of sixty cases

Laparoscopic splenectomies for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: experience of sixty cases

American Journal of Hematology 63(1): 7-10

We performed a laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) in 60 patients (age 9-83, 45 females) with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) who did not achieve sustained remission on steroid therapy. Using a modified procedure, the mean duration of LS was 78 min (range 25-240 min) and surgery was associated with only 5% major and 5% minor complications. Ten patients had a platelet count less than 50 x 10(9)/l during surgery despite the administration of immune globulin (0.4 g/kg x 3-5 days) or pulsed oral dexamethasone (40 mg/day x 4 days). Three patients were refractory to these therapies and underwent LS with a platelet count less than 5 x 10(9)/l. Bleeding complications during or after surgery were rare (5%). Accessory spleens were removed in eight patients. Convalescence was rapid and the mean hospital stay was 2.3 days (range 1-7 days). The patients were followed for a mean of 16 months (range 1-36 months), and 49 patients (84%) are in complete remission. Seven patients (12.5%) relapsed despite an initial good response in 6 of them. Two patients underwent laparoscopic removal of accessory spleens with excellent response. We conclude that LS for ITP is safe and effective and associated with low morbidity and fast recovery. Thus, LS may be considered earlier in the course of ITP.

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Accession: 046520281

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PMID: 10602160

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