Infectious complications after surgical splenectomy in children with sickle cell disease

Cypriano Petrus Monaco Junior Patricia Belintani Blum Fonseca Josefina Aparecida Pellegrini Braga About the authors


To evaluate the frequency of infectious complications in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) after surgical splenectomy for acute splenic sequestration crisis.


Retrospective cohort of children with SCD who were born after 2002 and were regularly monitored until July 2013. Patients were divided into two groups: cases (children with SCD who underwent surgical splenectomy after an episode of splenic sequestration) and controls (children with SCD who did not have splenic sequestration and surgical procedures), in order to compare the frequency of invasive infections (sepsis, meningitis, bacteremia with positive blood cultures, acute chest syndrome and/or pneumonia) by data collected from medical records. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistical analysis.


44 patients were included in the case group. The mean age at the time of splenectomy was 2.6 years (1-6.9 years) and the mean postoperative length of follow-up was 6.1 years (3.8-9.9 years). The control group consisted of 69 patients with a mean age at the initial follow-up visit of 5.6 months (1-49 months) and a mean length of follow-up of 7.2 years (4-10.3 years).All children received pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. No significant difference was observed between groups in relation to infections during the follow-up.


Surgical splenectomy in children with sickle cell disease that had splenic sequestration did not affect the frequency of infectious complications during 6 years of clinical follow-up.

Sickle cell disease; Acute splenic sequestration; Splenectomy; Infection

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