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scientific articles

Splenectomy versus conservative management for acute sequestration crises in people with sickle cell disease

key information

source: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

year: 2017

authors: Owusu-Ofori S, Remmington T


Acute splenic sequestration crises are a complication of sickle cell disease, with high mortality rates and frequent recurrence in survivors of first attacks. Splenectomy and blood transfusion, with their consequences, are the mainstay of long-term management used in different parts of the world. This is a 2017 update of a Cochrane Review first published in 2002, and previously updated, most recently in 2015.

To assess whether splenectomy (total or partial), to prevent acute splenic sequestration crises in people with sickle cell disease, improved survival and decreased morbidity in people with sickle cell disease, as compared with regular blood transfusions.

Main Results:
No trials of splenectomy for acute splenic sequestration were found.

Author’s conclusion:
Splenectomy, if full, will prevent further sequestration and if partial, may reduce the recurrence of acute splenic sequestration crises. However, there is a lack of evidence from trials showing that splenectomy improves survival and decreases morbidity in people with sickle cell disease. There is a need for a well-designed, adequately-powered, randomized controlled trial to assess the benefits and risks of splenectomy compared to transfusion programmes, as a means of improving survival and decreasing mortality from acute splenic sequestration in people with sickle cell disease.There are no trials included in the review and we have not identified any relevant trials up to August 2017. We will continue to run searches to identify any potentially relevant trials; however, we do not plan to update other sections of the review until new trials are published.

organization: Transfusion Medicine Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003425.pub4

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