Acute splenic sequestration crisis in adult sickle cell disease: A report of 16 cases

Leonard Naymagon, Gopichand Pendurti, Henny H. Billett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Acute splenic sequestration crisis (ASSC), characterized by rapidly progressive anemia and circulatory compromise in the setting of sudden splenic enlargement, is an uncommon entity among adult sickle cell patients. We reviewed cases of adult ASSC encountered at our institution to generate insight into the recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of the condition. Cases of adult ASSC during a 10-year period were identified retrospectively. Patient charts were reviewed for laboratory and imaging results; demographic data and clinical course were collected and reviewed. Sixteen cases of adult ASSC were identified. Most patients presented with pain crisis; only four of 16 patients presented with abdominal pain. The maximum decreases in hemoglobin (Hb) (42.0%) and platelets (62.1%) occurred at day 2.9, delaying identification and treatment. Hemodynamic instability played a large role in dictating risk stratification. Therapy consisted of transfusion (14/16) and splenectomy (5/16). No recurrences were noted in a mean follow-up time of 5.3 years but review of patients charts demonstrated that at least one of the patients had two prior episodes. Adult ASSC may present with non specific findings and patients may not deteriorate until several days into a previously uneventful hospital course. Changes in platelet counts may be more reliable markers than changes in Hb level since red cell transfusions may interfere with assessments of the sequestration process. This case series of adult ASSC, the largest reported in the literature to date, highlights common clinical, laboratory, radiological, and pathological features of this uncommon entity and helps to guide recognition, diagnosis, and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-379
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2015


  • Acute splenic sequestration crisis (ASSC)
  • sickle cell disease
  • splenomegaly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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