• Susceptibility to Streptococcus pneumoniae infection was studied in 11 groups of rats allocated to sham operation, splenectomy, or splenic autotransplantation of 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, or 90% of the removed spleen. Three months later, all rats were exposed intravenously to type 1 Streptococcus pneumoniae (median lethal dose, LD50, for control group). Survivors were killed 13 days after the bacterial challenge. Autopsy showed that more splenic tissue was recovered in rats that received less than 50% splenic tissue compared with those that received 50% or more. More survivors were found among sham-operated rats (47.5%; 95% confidence intervals, 32 to 68) and rats that had 40% splenic tissue implanted (35%; confidence interval, 20 to 54) or those that were found to have regenerated 40% splenic tissue. We conclude that 40% of the spleen should be autotransplanted to protect the rat optimally against infection after splenectomy.
(Arch Surg. 1990;125:1472-1474)