Background. The institutions with high volume of pancreatic surgery report morbidity rate from 30% to 50% and mortality less than 5% after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD). At the present, the most significant cause of morbidity and mortality is pancreatic fistula (PF).
Aim. The purpose of the study is to identify the most important clinical factors which may predict PF development and eventually suggest alternative approaches to the pancreatic stump management.
Patients and methods. A retrospective analysis of a clinical data base of a tertiary care Hospital was performed. From 2002 to 2012 a single Surgeon prospectively performed 150 pancreaticoduodenectomies for cancer. Four different techniques were used: end to end pancreaticojejunostomy, end to side pancreaticojejunostomy, pancreatic duct occlusion and duct to mucosa anastomosis. The intraoperative gland texture was classified as soft, firm and hard. The duct size was preoperatively (CT scan) and intraoperatively recorded and classified: < 3 mm small, 3-6 mm medium, > 6 mm large. The histopathological characteristic of the gland fibrosis was graduate as low 1, moderate 2, high 3.
Conclusion. Relationships between pre and intraoperative duct size measurement, pancreatic texture and pancreatic fibrosis grading were highly significant. Small duct and soft pancreas with low grade fibrosis are the most important risk factors for pancreatic fistula development.
The proper selection of pancreatic stump management or the decision to refer the high risk patients to high volume Center can be suggested by the elevated correspondence of pre and intraoperative duct diameter with the related pancreatic fibrosis grade and gland consistency.
Preoperative assessment of the pancreatic duct makes possible to predict the risk of pancreatic fistula.