Background: The purpose of this study was to describe the diagnostic value and therapeutic benefit of diagnostic splenectomy. Methods: Retrospective review was performed of patients undergoing splenectomy with an unknown diagnosis (UD), a hematologic malignancy (HM) or idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Surgical indications and postoperative outcomes were evaluated. Results: 113 splenectomy patients were identified. Of the UD patients undergoing splenectomy, 46% (n = 16) received a definitive diagnosis postoperatively. A change in diagnosis occurred in 12% (n = 4) of HM patients. Complete symptom relief was observed more often in UD patients who received a definitive diagnosis after splenectomy 69% (n = 11), compared to the 47% (n = 9) who did not receive definitive diagnosis postoperatively. Conclusions: The diagnostic ability of splenectomy was 46% when the diagnosis was unknown preoperatively. Additionally, a majority of patients experienced relief of symptoms postoperatively. Splenectomy may be a useful diagnostic and therapeutic tool in select UD and HM patients.
- Hematologic malignancy
ASJC Scopus subject areas