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Autosplenectomy: rare syndrome in autoimmunopathy
  1. J Leipe2,
  2. A J Hueber1,
  3. S Kallert1,
  4. J Rech1,
  5. H Schulze-Koops2
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine III, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany
  2. 2Medizinische Poliklinik–Rheumatologie, University of Munich, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr H Schulze-Koops
    Medizinische Poliklinik – Rheumatologie, University of Munich, Pettenkoferstraße 8a, 80336 Munich, Germany;hendrik.schulze-koops{at}

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Autosplenectomy has been described in association with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).1 Although in patients with SLE small or atrophic spleens are usually seen, the complete absence of the spleen has been observed rarely. Here, we report a patient with an 18-year history of autoimmunopathy who developed anatomical asplenia during the disease.

A 51-year-old Caucasian woman was first diagnosed in 1988 as having autoimmunopathy of incompletely defined aetiology with antinuclear antibodies (ANA) positivity and immunocomplexes in conjunction with reduced complement levels and serositis. The patient presented with massive pleural and pericardial effusions. Laboratory studies showed normal blood counts. Antibodies to extractable nuclear antigens or to phospholipids (lupus anticoagulant and anti-cardiolipin antibodies) could not be detected. Although suggestive of having SLE, the patient …

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

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