Splenectomy Done during Hematologic Remission To Prevent Relapse in Patients with Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
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OBJECTIVE: To assess whether splenectomy done during hematologic remission reduces the relapse rate in patients with relapsing thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. DESIGN: Consecutive case series. SETTING: Tertiary care teaching hospital. PATIENTS: 6 consecutive patients seen during a 10-year period who had had one or more relapses of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. INTERVENTIONS: All patients had elective splenectomy while in hematologic remission and were followed after surgery for as long as 8.0 years. MEASUREMENTS: Attack rates (events per year) were calculated for each patient from time of presentation to time of splenectomy and from time of splenectomy to January 1996. RESULTS: A total of 26 episodes of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura occurred over 22.3 patient-years before splenectomy. After splenectomy, 3 acute episodes occurred over 22.7 patient-years. The attack rate (+/-1 SD) decreased from 2.3 +/- 2.0 events per year to 0.1 +/- 0.1 events per year. CONCLUSION: In patients who have had one or more relapses of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, splenectomy done during hematologic remission reduces the frequency of acute relapse and the resulting need for medical therapy.
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