IgG, IgA, IgM, and transferrin levels were measured in sera from a group of children who had been subjected to splenectomy in the previous 10 years. In those children splenectomized for hereditary spherocytosis, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, or traumatic rupture, mean IgM levels were significantly lower and mean transferrin levels were significantly higher than in sera from control children.
Children splenectomized for thalassaemia major had a significantly raised mean IgG level, while children splenectomized for portal hypertension had a raised mean IgA level. However, IgG and IgA levels in patients who had suffered splenic rupture did not differ from control values.
The finding of high transferrin levels after splenectomy supports the concept of an immunological function for this protein in addition to its iron-binding capacity.
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