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Value of surface counting in predicting response to splenectomy in haemolytic anaemia
  1. S. Ahuja,
  2. S. M. Lewis,
  3. L. Szur
  1. Department of Haematology, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London
  2. Department of Radiotherapy, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London


    The value of surface counting with 51Cr-labelled red cells in predicting response to splenectomy in haemolytic anaemia has been analysed in 18 cases. The cases included six patients with congenital haemolytic anaemias, four with primary autoimmune haemolytic anaemias, and eight patients with secondary haemolytic anaemias (four with a positive antiglobulin test). All patients showed evidence of splenic accumulation of labelled cells and in 16 of the cases this was confined to the spleen. Improvement followed splenectomy in 17 of the cases although there was no close correlation between the magnitude of accumulation of radioactivity as measured by excess counts and the degree of response. The reasons for these discrepancies are discussed, The only patient who completely failed to respond to splenectomy had a sideroblastic element to the anaemia. It has been concluded that surface counting is of value in selecting patients for splenectomy but should not be depended upon without reference to other clinical and haematological factors, which are likely to influence the prognosis.

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