Splenectomy is a commonly performed operation; however, data from large series regarding operative outcomes to help guide decision making and informed consent are lacking.
To evaluate clinical and pathologic variables associated with morbidity and mortality following elective splenectomy for benign and malignant hematologic conditions in the United States.
Design, Setting, and Participants
A review of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program data for elective splenectomy between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2011, was performed, and 1715 eligible individuals were identified.
Elective splenectomy for hematologic conditions.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Complications and operative mortality were evaluated for the entire cohort and compared between patients with benign vs malignant diseases. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate factors predictive of operative complications and death.
Splenectomy was performed in 1344 patients (78.4%) for benign disease and in 371 patients (21.6%) for malignant disease. Two hundred ninety-one patients (17.0%) had a complication, and operative mortality occurred in 27 patients (mortality rate, 1.6%). Patients treated for malignant disease had a higher rate of overall complications (27.2%) compared with patients treated for benign disease (14.1%) (P < .001). Several variables were independent predictors of complications, including malignant disease (vs benign) (Odds Ratio [OR], 1.86; 95% CI, 1.23-2.80; P = .003), independent performance status (vs dependent) (OR, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.07-1.52; P = .02), and increasing albumin level (OR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.66-0.86; P < .001). Increasing age (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.00-1.06; P = .05) was an independent predictor of mortality while increasing albumin level (OR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.46-0.86; P = .003) predicted lower risk of operative death. From these data, a patient older than 60 years with a low preoperative albumin level has a predicted probability for operative death as high as 10.0%.
Conclusions and Relevance
Preoperative performance and nutritional status are significant risk factors for complications and mortality following elective splenectomy. Although operative mortality continues to decrease over time, specific preoperative variables may help with patient selection before elective splenectomy for certain patients.