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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 85

of 'Treatment of relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia'

The value of splenectomy in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Delpero JR, Gastaut JA, Letreut YP, Caamano A, Mathieu-Tubiana N, Maraninchi D, Simon-Lejeune C, Mascret B, Blanc AP, Sebahoun G
Cancer. 1987;59(2):340.
Between January 1, 1980, and July 31, 1985, 168 patients were treated at our institution for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Splenectomy was performed on 32 (23 men and 9 women). The mean age of these surgical patients was 59.4 years (range, 43-75). Twenty-four patients had received chemotherapy and/or corticotherapy prior to surgery and 1 of these 24 also underwent splenic radiotherapy. The interval between diagnosis and splenectomy ranged from 1 to 108 months (mean, 33.6 months +/- 28.6). Before splenectomy, 9 patients had platelet counts greater than 100,000/mm3 (3 with normal counts), 18 had counts between 50,000 and 100,000/mm3, and 5 had less than 50,000/mm3. Seven patients had anemia with hemoglobin levels less than 10 g/dl (3 associated with thrombocytopenia); in the other 25 patients, hemoglobin levels were between 10 and 11 g/dl in 12 (9 associated with thrombocytopenia) and greater than 11 g/dl in 13. All patients but one had splenomegaly (mean spleen weight 1780 g +/- 938.7 range, 160-4300 g). One postoperative death was recorded. Postoperative morbidity occurred in 7 of 31 cases; severe infection was never observed. The average duration of hospitalization was 15 +/- 4.7 days (range, 9-28). Twenty-two of the 23 patients with thrombocytopenia less than 100,000/mm3 had complete remission after splenectomy. One had a partial remission that was later completed by means of drug therapy. Two patients relapsed within 6 months and one after 32 months. All but two cases of anemia responded to splenectomy; one patient relapsed. In 15 of 31 surviving patients, further treatment was required within a few weeks or months after surgery. Five patients died at 8, 17, 22, 26, and 35 months, respectively. The other 26 patients are alive and well with a mean follow-up of 34 months (range, 11-71 months). Splenectomy may be an effective treatment for CLL patients with splenomegaly, thrombocytopenia, and/or anemia.