Potential Value of Splenectomy for the Life Quality and Long-term Survival of Patients with Cirrhosis

Abstract

Patients with cirrhosis will gradually develop portal hypertension (PHT) and esophagogastric varices, and subsequently the more severe and often lethal complications such as bleeding esophageal varices, ascites, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, renal dysfunction and hepatic encephalopathy. To date, there is still not any effective therapy for the prevention of the development these serious complications. The initial factor leading to PHT is an increase in hepatic resistance. Then, the increase in portal blood ?ow contributes to the maintenance and exacerbation of PHT, as well as the formation of esophagogastric varices and lethal complications. Increasing evidence shows that, enlarged spleen not only contributes to the increase in portal venous inflow, but also plays a contributory role in promoting almost all lethal complications of cirrhosis through its resulted hypersplenism together with other mechanisms. So, we hypothesize that prophylactic splenectomy may efficiently delay the progression of cirrhosis and improve life quality and long-term survival of patients with cirrhosis.