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Open Access Research

Low-dose splenic irradiation in symptomatic congestive splenomegaly: report of five cases with literature data

Frank Bruns1*, Michael Bremer1, Arne Dettmer2 and Stefan Janssen1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany

2 Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

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Radiation Oncology 2014, 9:86  doi:10.1186/1748-717X-9-86

Published: 27 March 2014

Abstract

Background

To show effectiveness of low-dose splenic irradiation in symptomatic congestive splenomegaly.

Methods

Five patients were referred to our department for symptomatic congestive splenomegaly within three years. Primary diseases were autoimmune hepatitis with liver cirrhosis (n = 2), cystic fibrosis (n = 1), granulomatous liver disease (n = 1) and Werlhof disease with liver cirrhosis (n = 1). Mean age was 54 years (range: 36–67). Patients received splenic irradiation with a total dose of 3 Gy (single dose: 0.5 Gy). One patient was re-irradiated after long-term failure with the same treatment schedule.

Results

In four patients long term relief of splenic pain could be observed during the follow-up time of median 20 (range: 2–36) months. Four patients showed haematological response after irradiation with an increase of erythrocytes, leucocytes and/or platelets. A slightly decrease in spleen size was found in two patients.

Conclusions

Low-dose splenic irradiation in symptomatic congestive splenomegaly is feasible and perhaps as effective as in lympho-and myeloproliferative malignancies regarding pain relief and haematological response.

Keywords:
Splenic irradiation; Congestive splenomegaly; Symptomatic; Radiotherapy; Benign disease