Summary of Asplenia
Asplenia refers to the absence of normal spleen function and is associated with some serious infection risks. Hyposplenism is used to describe reduced splenic functioning, but not as severely affected as with asplenism. Asplenia is a form of immunodeficiency, increasing the risk of sepsis from polysaccharide encapsulated bacteria, and can result in overwhelming post-splenectomy infection, often fatal within a few hours. In particular, patients are at risk from Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and meningococcus. The risk is elevated as much as 350–fold. Increased platelet counts can be seen in individuals without a functioning spleen.