Author(s): Sandler SG
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Abstract The benefits of surgical splenectomy in patients with immune (Idiopathic) thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP) probably reflect the combined effects of eliminating a source of antiplatelet antibody synthesis as well as the primary site of platelet destruction. The recent availability of intravenous Rho(D) Immune globulin (WinRho SDF; Nabi, Boca Raton, FL) presents an opportunity to extend the duration of nonsurgical (spleen-sparing) management of chronic ITP by inducing reversible Fc blockade. While new methods for laparoscopic splenectomy may offer improved surgical outcomes and reduced costs for ITP patients in the near-term, the long-term consequences of splenectomy remain to be determined. Partial splenectomy has been shown to be effective in the management of anemia in hereditary spherocytosis and elliptocytosis, while preserving vital splenic phagocytic and immune functions. The concept that cell destruction occurs in reticuloendothelial cells has been updated with recognition that the mononuclear phagocyte is neither a reticular nor an endothelial cell. Immune phagocytosis is now understood to be mediated by macrophage IgG Fc and complement receptors. A key factor for devising a strategy for selecting medical or surgical splenectomy, or postponing splenectomy, is an assessment of the relative importance of splenic immune versus phagocytic function in the pathogenesis of ITP.
This article was published in Semin Hematol
and referenced in Pediatrics & Therapeutics