An autosplenectomy (from" 'auto-' "self," '-splen-' "spleen," '-ectomy' "removal) occurs when a disease damages the spleen to such an extent that it is non-functioning and so equivalent to the spleen having been surgically removed (splenectomy) .


This may occur in sickle-cell disease and spherocytosis when abnormal red blood cells repeatedly block off small blood vessels, causing infarction of parts of the spleen.


Absence of effective splenic function (asplenia) is associated with increased risks of overwhelming post splenectomy infection, especially by encapsulated organisms. Protocols involving vaccination and prophylactic antibiotics can reduce these risks.

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