eISSN: 1644-4124
ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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vol. 40

Case report
Asplenia in children with congenital heart disease as a cause of poor outcome

Semiha Bahceci Erdem
Ferah Genel
Baris Erdur
Erhan Ozbek
Nesrin Gulez
Timur Mese

(Centr Eur J Immunol 2015; 40 (2): 266-269)
Online publish date: 2015/08/03
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The absence of a spleen is a well-known risk factor for severe bacterial infections, especially due to encapsulated bacteria. Congenital asplenia can be part of multiple congenital abnormalities as in heterotaxy including Ivemark syndrome with congenital anomalies of the heart or great vessels, or it can be isolated, which is extremely rare. In these cases, asplenia is an important factor effecting mortality. In this report, the clinical courses of five children with asplenia and concomitant minor or complex cardiac anomalies are presented. The ages of the children ranged between 1.5 and 17 months at the time of diagnosis. All of the cases had had a history of hospitalisation for infectious diseases before the diagnosis. The patient who was diagnosed at 17 months old had a history pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and bacterial meningitis beginning at five months old. Three children had complex cardiac anomalies, one child had ventricular septal defect, and one child had atrial septal defect. Howell-Jolly bodies were determined in peripheral blood smear in all of the patients. The diagnoses of asplenia were confirmed with spleen scintigraphy. One of the patients with complex cardiac anomalies died a short time after diagnosis, because of cardiac failure. The rest of the four patients were vaccinated for encapsulated bacteria and were taken under antibiotic prophylaxis. These children did not need hospitalisation for infectious diseases during the follow-up period (5-40 months). In asplenic children, early diagnosis, antibiotic prophylaxis, and immunisation for encapsulated bacteria can decrease the risk of morbidity and mortality.

asplenia, child, cardiac anomalies, heterotaxy syndrome, infection, immunisation

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