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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



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


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.


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.


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.

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