Myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia (MMM) is a collective term that describes the related disorders AMM, PPMM, and PTMM. The chronic myeloid disorders include chronic myeloid leukemia, polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and agnogenic myeloid metaplasia (myelofibrosis). These disorders display varying propensities for pathologic enlargement of the spleen which can lead to mechanical discomfort, hypercatabolic symptoms, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and portal hypertension. Splenectomy has been found to be of little benefit in the early stages of chronic myeloid leukemia. Similarly, the benefit of splenectomy in advanced cases is limited to symptomatic palliation and treatment of delayed engraftment after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Although polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia are also characterized by splenomegaly, splenectomy is not considered a therapeutic option in the absence of transformation of the disease into myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia. Splenectomy has been studied most in myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia. Although there is no clear survival advantage to splenectomy in this disorder, the surgical procedure can result in substantial palliation of mechanical discomfort, hypercatabolic symptoms, portal hypertension, and anemia. However, the procedure is associated with an approximately 9% mortality rate, and the postsplenectomy occurrence of extreme thrombocytosis, hepatomegaly, and leukemic transformation is of major concern. (C) 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.
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