The clinical role of the treatment for hypersplenism in patients with cirrhosis

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The spleen has major roles in immunity and blood filtration. Splenomegaly is usually secondary to infection, hematological diseases, or cirrhosis. We can make diagnosis accurately by using ultrasound or computed tomography. Two third of cirrhotic patients have splenomegaly due to portal hypertension; and they often have thrombocytopenia. The cirrhotic patients may need invasive therapy for their diseases, such as dental extractions, percutaneous local ablation for hepatoma, paracentesis for ascites and hydrothorax. These procedures may be hampered by the presence of bleeding tendency. The indication of treatment of splenomegaly in cirrhotic patients is presence of thrombocytopenia or complications from portal hypertension. Current treatment modalities include splenectomy, partial splenic embolization, irradiation, and radiofrequency ablation. The benefits are increased platelet counts, reduced episodes of variceal bleeding and improved liver function. Therefore, treatment for hypersplenism may offer improved life quality and improved survival for these cirrhotic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-408
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Internal Medicine of Taiwan
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine

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