Splenectomy to treat splenic lesions: An analysis of 148 cases at a cancer center

Amudhan Pugalenthi, Ciaran Bradley, Mithat Gonen, Kinh Gian Do, Vivian Strong, William Jarnagin, Daniel Coit, T. Peter Kingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives Solid and cystic splenic masses discovered on imaging studies often pose diagnostic and management dilemmas. This study analyses a large series of splenectomies to identify preoperative factors associated with malignant splenic masses. Methods Pathology records at a single institution were reviewed for all splenectomies. Those performed as a component of a larger resection, such as staging or debulking were excluded. Demographic and clinicopathologic factors were obtained. Univariate and multivariate analyses identified factors associated with an increased risk of malignancy. Results Between 1986 and 2012, 2,743 patients underwent a splenectomy, 148 of which were performed for lesions identified on imaging. The indications were suspicion of malignancy (120, 81%), growth over time (28, 19%), or symptoms (39, 26%). Resected splenic lesions were malignant in 93 patients (63%); the most common pathologies included ovarian cancer (n = 39), melanoma (n = 14), and colorectal cancer (n = 9). On multivariate analysis of clinicopathologic factors, a previous history of cancer was the only independent predictor of malignancy in the splenic lesion (odds ratio 6.3; 95% CI, 2.32-16.97; P = 0.001). Conclusion While the spleen is an uncommon site of metastatic disease, in patients with a history of cancer, splenic masses selected for resection are frequently malignant. J. Surg. Oncol. 2013; 108:521-525.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-525
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • metastasis
  • splenectomy
  • splenic lesion


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