Pathologic factors affecting postsplenectomy survival in dogs.

W. L. Spangler, Philip H Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


The apparently high prevalence of splenomegaly in dogs, along with the surgical accessibility of the spleen, results in a relatively large number of splenectomies in dogs in clinical veterinary practice. Splenic nodular lesions are widely considered to be indicative of hemangiosarcoma and thus a disease that is ultimately fatal. This study correlates the results of complete pathologic evaluation and classification of 500 spleens obtained by splenectomy with survival information for each dog. Among the spleens examined, 257 of 500 (51.4%) were classified nonneoplastic and 241 (48.2%) were neoplastic; 2 (0.4%) were unclassified. Miscellaneous non-nodular splenomegaly accounted for 46 of 257 (18%) of the nonneoplastic lesions; nodular splenomegaly accounted for 206 of 257 (79%) of nonneoplastic splenic lesions and was composed of lymphoid hyperplastic nodules and associated hematomas, hyperplastic lymphoid nodules alone, or hematomas with no apparent underlying cause. Nodular neoplastic diseases of the spleen were divided among benign tumors (11.5%) and a variety of primary sarcomas. Hemangiosarcoma made up 51% of splenic malignancies but accounted for less than 25% of the spleens evaluated. Survival of dogs with hematomas associated with nonneoplastic conditions of the spleen was markedly different from that in dogs with hemangiosarcoma-associated hematomas, even though most could not be effectively differentiated on gross inspection. Two month postoperative survival was 83% for dogs with nonneoplastic-related hematomas, whereas only 31% of dogs with hemangiosarcoma, with or without associated hematomas, were alive after 2 months. Twelve-month survival times were 64% and 7%, respectively. An overall postsplenectomy survival rate of 52% was based on the number of dogs surviving for a minimum of 6 months postoperatively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-171
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of veterinary internal medicine / American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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