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Definition of Asplenic

Asplenic: Pertaining to asplenia, the state of being without a spleen or without a functional spleen. The spleen can be functionally destroyed, as by inadequate oxygen supply in sickle cell disease.

The spleen, an organ located in the upper left part of the abdomen near the stomach, produces lymphocytes, filters blood, serves as a major reservoir for blood and destroys blood cells that are aged. It also has an important function in the filtering, phagocytosis (ingestion and digestion) and removal of bacteria from the bloodstream. Asplenic patients run a significantly increased risk of severe sepsis (bloodstream infection).

The prefix "a-" comes from the Greek meaning "not."

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=17893
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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