ALTHOUGH the spleen is an important component of the reticuloendothelial system, its removal may be beneficial or curative in many hematologic diseases. With the advent of sternal aspiration, which is a relatively simple technique, and with better knowledge of the functions of the hematopoietic system, more and more indications for splenectomy have been found. There are still many gaps in knowledge of splenic physiology, particularly with regard to its effect on bone marrow. The excellent article, "The Surgical Aspects of Splenic Disease," by Cole, Majarakis, and Limarzi, appearing in this issue, summarizes the known facts and presents a concise discussion of the theoretic aspects of splenic function. The indications for splenectomy given by these authors are sound, and their results are in accord with the experience of my colleagues and me.
As set forth in this article, there are two conditions for which splenectomy may be curative, namely, thrombocytopenic purpura