Using an animal model with bacteria delivered through the respiratory tract, the relative protective effects of subcutaneous and intraperitoneal splenic autotransplants were compared. Animals with intraperitoneal implants demonstrated a mortality not different from that in control animals and an early mortality significantly lower than found in splenectomized animals. Subcutaneous splenic autotransplantation provided no protective effect. The inability of extraperitoneal subcutaneous implants to protect against postsplenectomy pulmonary sepsis in our model suggests that subcutaneous splenic autotransplantation is an inappropriate alternative to intraperitoneal splenic autotransplantation in the clinical setting.
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