Effects of splenectomy on liver volume and prognosis of cirrhosis in patients with esophageal varices

Morimasa Tomikawa, Makoto Hashizume, Tomohiko Akahoshi, Rinshun Shimabukuro, Norikazu Gotoh, Masayuki Ohta, Keizo Sugimachi

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Several previous studies have shown that hepatic regeneration after partial hepatic resection accelerates over time once a splenectomy has been performed. This was a retrospective study investigating whether a splenectomy has some beneficial effects for cirrhotic patients with esophageal varices. Methods: Ninety-three patients underwent either esophageal transection, including splenectomy (splenectomy group), or endoscopic injection sclerotherapy (controls) for esophageal varices. No patient had hepatocellular carcinoma and the grades of their hepatic function were from mild to moderate. The changes in hepatic and splenic functions and liver volume were evaluated, as well as the probability of survival. Results and Conclusions: Both plasma white blood cell and platelet counts significantly increased in the splenectomy group compared to the controls (P < 0.05). The proportion of liver volume 1 year after the treatments compared to the volume before the treatments (which was 100%) was 96.4% in splenectomy group and 94.4% in controls. No patient had serious complications, such as severe infection caused by the splenectomy. The two groups showed no statistically significant differences in survival rates throughout this study. Although hypersplenism significantly was improved by splenectomy, no difference in changes in liver volume nor survival probability between the two groups was found. Further studies, such as those with a large number of patients, long-term volumetric analysis, or histopathological examination, are needed to clarify fully the effects of splenectomy on cirrhotic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-80
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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