Background: To investigate the interactions between splenectomy and perioperative transfusion in gastric cancer patients. Methods: Medical records of 449 gastric cancer patients who had undergone total gastrectomies for curative intent between 1991 and 1995 were reviewed. The influence of splenectomy on tumor recurrence and survival both in the transfused and nontransfused patients were evaluated by univariate and multivariate analysis. Results: The recurrence rate in the splenectomy group was 48.1% as compared with 22.6% in the spleen-preserved group among transfused patients (P = .001); it was 40.7% compared with 26.5% among nontransfused patients (P = .086). There was no significant difference in the mean survival between the splenectomy group and the spleen-preserved group in a subgroup analysis by stage. Multivariate analysis identified splenectomy as an independent risk factor for recurrence but not as a predictor for survival among transfused patients. Conclusions: Splenectomy does not appear to abrogate the adverse effect of perioperative transfusion on prognosis in gastric cancer patients. Moreover, it may increase postoperative recurrence in transfused patients.
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