Causes of hyposplenism

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Asplenia Hypoplasia

Immunodeficiency disorders



Acute atrophy and/or infarction: Sickle cell disease Radiotherapy Autoimmune disorders Essential thrombocythaemia Chronic alcoholism Hypopituitarism Malabsorption syndromes

Functional asplenia with normal-sized or enlarged spleen

Infiltration by leukaemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, mastocytosis

Early sickle cell disease



Benign and malignant vascular tumours Malabsorption syndromes

Reduced immune function


Endocrine: hypopituitarism, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus

Chronic alcoholism

Post chemotherapy/radiation therapy

Antibody (IgM) and lymphokine production in lymphoid follicles (B cells). Macrophage activation; Production of opsonins: tuftsin, properdin. Reservoir:

Storage or normal sequestration of platelets, granulocytes; Recycling of iron;

Red blood cell storage-blood reservoir (minor in humans). Haematopoietic function: Erythropoiesis, granulopoiesis, megakaryopoiesis; Lymphocyte and macrophage production;

The haematopoietic role is primarily seen during fetal life and in situations of bone marrow destruction or dysfunction.


Greer, J. P., Foerster, J., Lukens, J. N., Rodgers, G. M., Paraskeva, F. & Glader, B. Wintrobe's Clinical Haematology, 11th edn. vols. 1 and 2. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2004.

Hoffbrand, A.V., Pettit, J.E. & Moss, P.A.H. Essential Haematology, 4th edn. Oxford:

Blackwell Science, 2001. Schiffmann, F.J. Haematologic Pathophysiology. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven Publishers, 1998.

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