Life-threatening autoimmune hemolytic anemia and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: successful seletive splenic artery embolization
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Selective splenic artery embolization, warm auto-immune hemolytic anemia, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
Selective splenic artery embolization (SSAE) is a nonsurgical intervention characterized by the transcatheter occlusion of the splenic artery and/or its branch vessels using metallic coils or other embolic devices. It has been applied for the management of splenic trauma, hypersplenism with portal hypertension, hereditary spherocytosis, thalassemia and splenic hemangioma. We hereby describe a case of a patient affected by idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and warm auto-immune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) both resistant to immunosuppressive and biological therapies, not eligible for a surgical intervention because of her critical conditions. She underwent SSAE and achieved a hematologic complete response within a few days without complications. SSAE is a minimally invasive procedure to date not considered a standard option in the management of AIHA and ITP. However, following the progressive improvement of the techniques, its indications have been extended, with a reduction in morbidity and mortality compared to splenectomy in patients with critical clinical conditions. SSAE was a lifesaving therapeutic approach for our patient and it may represent a real alternative for the treatment of resistant AIHA and ITP patients not eligible for splenectomy.
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