Asplenia refers to absence of the spleen thereby leading to deficient splenic function.
Seen in 3% of neonates with structural heart disease and in 30% of patients who die from cardiac malposition. The male-to-female ratio is 2:1.
Asplenia can be classified into two types:
- anatomical asplenia - absence of splenic tissue (can be congenitial, acquired or iatrogenic)
- functional asplenia - splenic tissue present however it is non-functioning
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