The spleen is an organ functional in both humoral and
cellular immunity. Therefore, the spleen plays a major role in host
defense against infections. In this study, we evaluated the
immunization histories of splenectomized patients and their level
of information on this subject.
Patients and Methods: A total of 51 patients who applied to
Clinics of Infectious Diseases, Hematology and General Surgery
from our hospital and from others and who had undergone
splenectomy between March 2010 and October 2013 were enrolled.
Results: A total of 26 (50.9%) patients were women and 25
(49.1%) were men with a mean age 53.3 years (age range, 21-83
years). The most common reason for splenectomy was idiopathic
thrombocytopenic purpura (n= 23, 45%), followed by tumor
metastasis (n=8, 15.6%) and autoimmune hemolytic anemia (n=7,
13.7%). Pneumococcal vaccination was done in 64% (n=32) of the
patients before the operation, in 23% (n=12) after the operation
while 13% (n=7) of the patients were not vaccinated. None of the
seven patients from other hospitals were informed about
vaccination by their doctors while information only about
pneumococcal vaccination was given to the other seven patients,
but there were errors in their vaccination procedures.
Conclusion: Immunization of patients undergoing
splenectomy is frequently a forgotten and regarded as an
unimportant topic. Usage of variable pneumococcal vaccination
programs without giving any information to patients supports the
view that both patients and clinicians have inadequate levels of
information about vaccinations and shows the need for prompt
multidisciplinary medical attention for adult patients.