• splenectomy;
  • non-Hodgkin's lymphoma;
  • hypersplenism;
  • autoimmune hemolytic anemia

Abstract: Splenectomy in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) is performed for either diagnostic or therapeutic reasons. We report on a series of 29 patients with NHL and splenomegaly who underwent splenectomy during the years 1979–1998 in our hospital. According to the indication for splenectomy our patients were categorized in three groups. Group A: In 20 patients splenectomy was performed for diagnostic reasons. Group B: Three patients were splenectomized for autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA). Group C: Six patients underwent splenectomy because of hypersplenism. A definitive histopathological diagnosis of NHL was obtained in all patients of group A. Hypersplenism and AIHA were resolved in all patients after splenectomy. One (3.5%) patient died postoperatively because of septicemia complicated by disseminated intravascular coagulation. Six postoperative complications were observed in 4 (14%) patients. Splenectomy, with an acceptable surgical risk, has the potential to establish the diagnosis of NHL in patients with splenomegaly without lymphadenopathy and negative bone marrow findings. Moreover, splenectomy has the capacity to modify the disease course in patients with NHL complicated by AIHA or hypersplenism.