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Splenectomy as a part of cytoreductive surgery in ovarian cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis.

OBJECTIVE: The role of splenectomy on cytoreductive surgery in patients with ovarian cancer remains controversial. We conducted this meta-analysis to evaluate the safety and impact of survival outcome of splenectomy in patients with ovarian cancer.

METHODS: In this meta-analysis we analyzed studies published in PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP), and Clinical Trials. gov that appeared in our search from inception to November 10, 2023.

RESULT: This meta-analysis included 10 studies, totaling 6297 patients, comprising one prospective and nine retrospective analyses. The results indicated no significant disparity in overall survival and mortality (OR 1.14, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.87, p=0.62) between the splenectomy cohort and the no splenectomy (required) cohort. Furthermore, relative to the no splenectomy (required) cohort, the splenectomy group showed a heightened incidence of overall post-operative complications (odds ratio (OR) 1.66, 95% CI 1.65 to 2.61, p=0.03), an extended duration of hospitalization (mean difference (MD) 2.88 days, 95% CI 2.09 to 3.67), an increased interval from surgery to the initiation of adjuvant chemotherapy (MD 4.44 days, 95% CI 2.41 to 6.07, p<0.0001), and a greater probability of undergoing reoperation (OR 4.7, 95% CI 1.91 to 11.55, p=0.0007). However, concerning the occurrence of specific post-operative complications such as anastomotic leakage (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.33 to 2.84, p=0.95), pancreatic fistula (OR 3.25, 95% CI 0.63 to 16.7, p=0.16), abdominal abscess (OR 1.75, 95% CI 0.25 to 12.33, p=0.57), sepsis (OR 1.46, 95% CI 0.77 to 2.77, p=0.25), and thrombotic events (OR 1.82, 95% CI 0.93 to 3.57, p=0.08), no significant differences were observed between the two cohorts.

CONCLUSION: Splenectomy does not impact the overall survival and mortality of patients with ovarian cancer. Thus, it can be considered an acceptably safe procedure to obtain optimal cytoreduction. However, caution should be taken when selecting patients for splenectomy because it is associated with an increased incidence of overall post-operative complications, prolonged hospital stays, delayed initiation of adjuvant chemotherapy, and an increased probability of requiring subsequent surgical interventions.

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