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Differences in Presentation and Perioperative Outcome after Pancreaticoduodenectomy for Cancer and Benign Pancreatitis

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The aim of this study was to examine differences in presentation and outcome in pancreaticoduodenectomy for benign and malignant processes. Pancreaticoduodenectomies performed for pancreatic adenocarcinoma or chronic pancreatitis from 2000 to 2008 were identified from a prospectively maintained database and compared. Pancreaticoduodenectomy revealed adenocarcinoma in 220 patients and benign chronic pancreatitis in 40 patients. Patients with adenocarcinoma were older (64 ± 10.6 years and 47.6 ± 10.8 years, respectively, P < 0.001) and more likely to demonstrate jaundice (92 and 13%, respectively, P < 0.001), weight loss (76 and 58%, respectively, P = 0.01), and discrete masses (72 and 55%, respectively, P = 0.03). By contrast, chronic pancreatitis presented with increased pain (98 and 49%, respectively, P < 0.001) and nausea (68 and 32%, respectively, P < 0.001). Patients with pancreatitis experienced reduced blood loss (227 ± 156 and 571 ± 626 mL, respectively, P = 0.05) and transfusion (10 and 42%, respectively, P < 0.001). Postoperatively, the groups were similar in risk of fistula, gastroparesis, overall morbidity, and mortality. Infection rates were higher in adenocarcinoma (42 and 20%, respectively, P = 0.01). Forty-nine patients underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy for presumptive chronic pancreatitis, of which nine had adenocarcinoma; logistic regression identified increasing age and jaundice as predictors of malignancy. Compared with patients with adenocarcinoma, those who undergo pancreaticoduodenectomy for chronic pancreatitis are less likely to require preoperative biliary drainage and perioperative transfusion. Infectious complication risk is higher in patients with adenocarcinoma. Increased age and jaundice should raise suspicion of cancer in patients with chronic pancreatitis undergoing evaluation for surgical treatment.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA 2: Department of Pathology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Publication date: 01 June 2010

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