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J Pediatr. 1977 Apr;90(4):555-9.

Sepsis and congenital asplenia.

Abstract

Fifty-nine children with congenital asplenia were reviewed for episodes of severe infection. Seven children had isolated asplenia and 52 had asplenia associated with complex congenital heart disease (asplenia syndrome). A control group of eusplenic children with comparable cardiac lesions were assembled and used for comparative statistical analysis. There were 16 instances of documented sepsis among 59 children (27%). In those less than six months of age, the invading organism was usually gram-negative (Escherichia coli or Klebsiella). In children six months of age or older, the infecting organism was usually a pneumococcus or H. influenzae. When those with asplenia syndrome were compared to the control population, the former group had a significantly greater incidence of sepsis. Children with asplenia syndrome who survived the first month of life were at greater risk of dying from sepsis than from their heart disease. It is recommended that prophylactic antibiotics be administered to children with congenital absence of the spleen, commencing at three months of age, to be continued indefinitely.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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