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Splenic Atrophy in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

AILEEN M. DILLON, M.B., B.Ch., B.A.O.; HOWARD B. STEIN, M.D.; and RODERICK A. ENGLISH, M.D., C.M.
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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr. Howard B. Stein; 1081 Burrard Street; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6Z 1Y6.


Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


© 1982 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1982;96(1):40-43. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-96-1-40
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Five of 70 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus seen over a 5-year period had peripheral blood films suggestive of hyposplenism. Technetium-99m-sulphur colloid scans showed no splenic activity in three patients. One of these three patients, who had a spontaneous remission of persistent thrombocytopenia concurrent with the appearance of functional asplenia, had splenic atrophy shown by computed tomography; a second patient, who died of pneumococcal septicemia, was shown to have splenic atrophy with lymphocyte depletion at autopsy. The development of functional asplenia in the third patient has not, to date, had any obvious effect on her disease. In the two patients with normal scans, blood film findings returned to normal with treatment of the underlying disease. Polyvalent pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for patients with lupus erythematosus who have splenic atrophy.

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