Hypersplenism refers to a decrease in one or more of the formed blood elements caused by sequestration within an enlarged spleen.


Criteria for hypersplenism:

(1) moderate to marked splenomegaly

(2) one or more cytopenias not explained better by another mechanism:

(2a) anemia

(2b) leukopenia

(2c) thrombocytopenia


Confirmation of the diagnosis is a rebound in blood counts following splenectomy. Failure of splenectomy to correct the cytopenias may indicate the presesnce of an accessory spleen.


Everyone with hypersplenism has an enlarged spleen but not every patient with an enlarged spleen experiences hypersplenism.


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