Outcomes after splenectomy in children: a 48-year population-based study

Mohammad A. Khasawneh, Nicolas Contreras-Peraza, Matthew C. Hernandez, Christine Lohse, Donald H. Jenkins, Martin D. Zielinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: In children who have undergone splenectomy, there may be impaired immunologic function and an increased risk of infection. We aimed to define the long-term rate of and risk factors for post-splenectomy infection using a population-based cohort study. Methods: All children (< 18 years) who underwent splenectomy from 1966 to 2011 in Olmsted County, MN were identified using the Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP). Descriptive statistics, Kaplan–Meier estimates, and Cox Proportional hazard ratios were performed to evaluate for risk factors associated with developing infection. Results: Ninety patients underwent splenectomy and 46% were female. Indications included trauma (42%), benign hematologic disease (33%), malignancy (13%), and other (11%). Most were performed open. Vaccination was completed in (72%) for pneumococcal, H. influenza, and meningococcal vectors. Nineteen patients developed infection, and associated factors included non-traumatic, non-malignant disease [HR 4.83 (1.18–19.85)], and performance of multiple surgical procedures [HR 2.80 (1.09–7.21)]. Estimated survival free of infection rates at 15 and 20 years following surgery was both 97%. Conclusions: After splenectomy in children, most patients do not develop infection. Nearly three-quarters of patients were vaccinated with the lowest rates in patients that underwent a splenectomy for trauma. In patients who received multiple procedures during a splenectomy, the infection risk was higher.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-582
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Outcomes
  • Population
  • Post-splenectomy
  • Sepsis
  • Splenectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Outcomes after splenectomy in children: a 48-year population-based study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this