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Risk factors of pancreatic leakage after pancreaticoduodenectomy.

AIM: To analyze the risk factors for pancreatic leakage after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) and to evaluate whether duct-to-mucosa pancreaticojejunostomy could reduce the risk of pancreatic leakage.

METHODS: Sixty-two patients who underwent PD at our hospital between January 2000 and November 2003 were reviewed retrospectively. The primary diseases of the patients included pancreas cancer, ampullary cancer, bile duct cancer, islet cell cancer, duodenal cancer, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cystadenoma, and gastric cancer. Standard PD was performed for 25 cases, PD with extended lymphadenectomy for 27 cases, pylorus-preserving PD for 10 cases. A duct-to-mucosa pancreaticojejunostomy was performed for patients with a hard pancreas and a dilated pancreatic duct, and a traditional end-to-end invagination pancreaticojejunostomy for patients with a soft pancreas and a non-dilated duct. Patients were divided into two groups according to the incidence of postoperative pancreaticojejunal anastomotic leakage: 10 cases with leakage and 52 cases without leakage. Seven preoperative and six intraoperative risk factors with the potential to affect the incidence of pancreatic leakage were analyzed with SPSS10.0 software. Logistic regression was then used to determine the effect of multiple factors on pancreatic leakage.

RESULTS: Of the 62 patients, 10 (16.13%) were identified as having pancreatic leakage after operation. Other major postoperative complications included delayed gastric emptying (eight patients), abdominal bleeding (four patients), abdominal abscess (three patients) and wound infection (two patients). The overall surgical morbidity was 43.5% (27/62). The hospital mortality in this series was 4.84% (3/62), and the mortality associated with pancreatic fistula was 10% (1/10). Sixteen cases underwent duct-to-mucosa pancreaticojejunostomy and 1 case (1/16, 6.25%) developed postoperative pancreatic leakage, 46 cases underwent invagination pancreaticojejunostomy and 9 cases (9/46, 19.6%) developed postoperative pancreatic leakage. General risk factors including patient age, gender, history of jaundice, preoperative nutrition, pathological diagnosis and the length of postoperative stay were similar in the two groups. There was no statistical difference in the incidence of pancreatic leakage between the patients who received the prophylactic use of octreotide after surgery and the patients who did not undergo somatostatin therapy. Moreover, multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that none of the above factors seemed to be associated with pancreatic fistula. Two intraoperative risk factors, pancreatic duct size and texture of the remnant pancreas, were found to be significantly associated with pancreatic leakage. The incidence of pancreatic leakage was 4.88% in patients with a pancreatic duct size greater than or equal to 3 mm and was 38.1% in those with ducts smaller than 3 mm (P = 0.002). The pancreatic leakage rate was 2.94% in patients with a hard pancreas and was 32.1% in those with a soft pancreas (P = 0.004). Operative time, blood loss and type of resection were similar in the two patient groups. The incidence of pancreatic leakage was 6.25% (1/16) in patients with duct-to-mucosa anastomosis, and was 19.6% (9/46) in those with traditional invagination anastomosis. Although the difference of pancreatic leakage between the two groups was obvious, no statistical significance was found. This may be due to the small number of patients with duct-to-mucosa anastomosis. By further analyzing with multivariate logistic regression, both pancreatic duct size and texture of the remnant pancreas were demonstrated to be independent risk factors (P = 0.007 and 0.017, OR = 11.87 and 15.45). Although anastomotic technique was not a significant factor, pancreatic leakage rate was much less in cases that underwent duct-to-mucosa pancreaticojejunostomy.

CONCLUSION: Pancreatic duct size and texture of the remnant pancreas are risk factors influencing pancreatic leakage after PD. Duct-to-mucosa pancreaticojejunostomy, as a safe and useful anastomotic technique, can reduce pancreatic leakage rate after PD.

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