Corticosteroid response predicts success of laparoscopic splenectomy in treating immune thrombocytopenia

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Abstract

Background:

Laparoscopic splenectomy is a second-line therapy for immune thrombocytopenia with a sustained success rate of 66%. In a climate of new available medical therapies for immune thrombocytopenia, the comparative safety and efficacy of laparoscopic splenectomy are worthy of attention. The purpose of this study is to identify factors predictive of laparoscopic splenectomy success that will enable preoperative prognostication.

Methods:

A retrospective cohort study was conducted of patients undergoing laparoscopic splenectomy for immune thrombocytopenia. The data collected evaluated response to medical and surgical therapy, which was defined on a platelet level of 50 × 109/L with no bleeding events. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to evaluate factors predictive of laparoscopic splenectomy success, with an additional subanalysis planned to assess for laparoscopic splenectomy safety in individuals ≥65 years.

Results:

One hundred forty-one patients were reviewed. Operative outcomes showed a 3.6% conversion rate and 8.5% complication rate. Disease remission was achieved in 78.7% of patients. Response to initial corticosteroid therapy was associated with a laparoscopic splenectomy success rate of 90% and increased odds of surgical success by 5.58 over individuals with no response to corticosteroids. Age did not confer an increased risk of failure or complications.

Conclusion:

Laparoscopic splenectomy is a safe and effective intervention for immune thrombocytopenia regardless of age. Initial response to corticosteroids is associated with laparoscopic splenectomy success rate of 90% and improved odds of surgical success. Laparoscopic splenectomy should be the standard second-line therapy for immune thrombocytopenia, especially in patients responding to corticosteroids.

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