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Splenic phagocytic function has been assessed in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. No Howell-Jolly bodies were found on blood film examination. Slow clearance times of heat damaged red cells were found in 13 of 16 patients with ulcerative colitis compared with 4 of 17 patients with Crohn's disease (P less than 0.01). For ulcerative colitis prolonged clearance times were strongly related to the length of history (r = 0.90; P less than 0.01). The prolongation of half-clearance times correlated poorly with splenic size suggesting a functional impairment of the reticuloendothelial system.


Journal article



Publication Date





717 - 723


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Atrophy, Child, Colitis, Ulcerative, Crohn Disease, Erythrocyte Inclusions, Humans, Middle Aged, Phagocytosis, Spleen, Time Factors