Table of Contents
ISRN Hematology
Volume 2011, Article ID 864257, 7 pages
Review Article

Splenic Complications of Sickle Cell Anemia and the Role of Splenectomy

Department of Pediatric Surgery, Maternity and Children Hospital, P.O. Box 61015, Dammam, Qatif 31911, Saudi Arabia

Received 22 August 2010; Accepted 10 October 2010

Academic Editors: A. G. Tsai and B. Wachowicz

Copyright © 2011 Ahmed H. Al-Salem. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sickle cell disease is one of the common hemoglobinopathies in the world. It can affect any part of the body and one of the most common and an early organ to be affected in SCA is the spleen. It is commonly enlarged during the first decade of life but then undergoes progressive atrophy leading to autosplenectomy. This however is not the case always and sometimes splenomegaly persist necessitating splenectomy for a variety of reasons including acute splenic sequestration crisis, hypersplenism, massive splenic infarction and splenic abscess. Splenic complications of SCA are known to be associated with an increased morbidity and in some it may lead to mortality. To obviate this, splenectomy becomes an essential part of their management. This review is based on our experience in the management of 173 children with various splenic complications of SCA necessitating splenectomy.