Sickle Cell Anemia: Recurrent Splenic Pain Relieved by Splenectomy

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Splenomegaly is an uncommon finding in adults with homozygous sickle cell disease. Henderson (1) reported palpable spleens in three adults in a series of 54 patients with sickle cell anemia. Watson, Lichtman, and Shapiro (2) found splenomegaly in 33% of patients with sickle cell disease in the first decade of life and in 10% of those older. Most of these early studies did not conclusively rule out double heterozygous states (Hb SC, Hb S-thalassemia, and so forth), which have been reported to have a higher incidence of splenomegaly. In 1970, Serjeant (3) correlated the persistence of splenomegaly in adults with

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