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Splenectomy???
Jun 14, 2000

I have a friend with low red blood cells and low white blood cells. He is on Procrit and Neupogen. He's heard talk about having a splenectomy. Have you heard of other persons with HIV/AIDS who have benefitted from splenectomies?

Thank you.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Splenectomies can be beneficial for certain blood conditions. The most common being low platelets -- termed thrombocytopenia. This condition results in easy bruising and can be quite severe. The fact that your friend has low red and white blood cells may indicate he/she has bone- marrow suppression. This could cause a decrease in all the blood cells -- red, white and platelets. Hopefully your friend is responding well to the procrit and neupogen. These are the most appropriate treatments for low red and white cell counts as they stimulate production of new cells from the patient's own bone marrow. Unfortunately we don't have a similar treatment for low platelets. That condition may require treatment with steroids, intravenous gamma globulin or at times splenectomy.

RJF


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