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Medicina (Kaunas). 2019 Dec 27;56(1). pii: E12. doi: 10.3390/medicina56010012.

Splenectomy in Lymphoproliferative Disorders: A Single Eastern European Center Experience.

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Faculty of General Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Carol Davila Bucharest, 050474 Bucharest, Romania.
Hematology Department, Emergency University Hospital Bucharest, 050098 Bucharest, Romania.
Intensive Care Unit, Emergency University Hospital Bucharest, 050098 Bucharest, Romania.
Plastic Reconstructive Surgery Department, Emergency University Hospital Bucharest, 050098 Bucharest, Romania.
Department of Hematology, Ion Chiricuta Oncology Institute, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 400015 Cluj Napoca, Romania.
Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering, Politehnica University of Bucharest, 060042 Bucharest, Romania.
4th Surgery Department, Emergency University Hospital Bucharest, 050098 Bucharest, Romania.


Background and Objectives: Hematological malignancies are usually systemic diseases of life-threatening impact, and frequently require prompt and energetic therapeutic intervention. Due to systemic involvement, the role of surgery is generally limited to diagnostic approaches, and it is very rarely employed as a therapeutic modality. Splenectomy represents an exception to this paradigm, being used both as a diagnostic and tumor debulking procedure, notably in splenic lymphomas. Materials and Methods: We investigated the role of splenectomy in a single center prospective study of splenectomy outcome in patients with splenic involvement in the course of lymphoproliferative disorders. In the present study, we included all patients treated in our department for lymphoid malignancies over a period of six years, who underwent splenectomy as a diagnostic or debulking procedure after referral and workup, or had been referred to our department after first being splenectomized and diagnosed with splenic lymphoma. Patient characteristics and treatment outcome were investigated. Results: We enrolled 54 patients, with 34 (63%) splenectomized patients: 12 splenectomies (22.2%) for diagnostic purposes and 22 (40.7%) for treatment. Special attention was given to the 28 (51.85%) patients diagnosed with splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL), a subtype with a clear therapeutic indication for splenectomy. Average age of patients was 57.5 (±13.1) years with a higher prevalence of feminine gender (66.67%). Age above 60 years old (p = 0.0295), ECOG (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group) > 2 (p = 0.0402) and B-signs (p nonsignificant (NS)) were most frequently found in SMZL patients. Anemia, and notably autoimmune anemia, was more frequent in SMZL versus other small-cell lymphomas and also in splenectomized patients, as was leukocytosis and lymphocytosis. Treatment of patients with lymphoproliferative disorders consisted of chemotherapy and/or splenectomy. Most SMZL patients received chemotherapy as first line treatment (61.5%) and had only partial response (57.7%). Second treatment line was splenectomy in 80% of patients who required treatment, followed by a 60% rate of complete response (CR). Splenectomy offered a higher complete response rate (twice as high than in non-splenectomized, regardless of histology type, p = NS), followed by a survival advantage (Overall Survival (OS)~64 versus 59 months, p = NS). Particularly, SMZL patients had a 4.8 times higher rate of CR than other non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients (p = 0.04), a longer progression free survival (73 months vs. 31 months for other small-cell NHLs p = NS) and a 1.5fold lower death rate (p = NS). The procedure was rather safe, with a 38.5% frequency of adverse reactions, mostly minor and manageable. Conclusions: Our data suggest that splenectomy is an effective and safe therapeutic option in patients with lymphoid malignancies and splenic involvement, particularly splenic marginal zone lymphoma.


marginal zone lymphoma; splenectomy; splenic lymphoma

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