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Ann Surg. Dec 1998; 228(6): 771–779.
PMCID: PMC1191595

Extended drainage versus resection in surgery for chronic pancreatitis: a prospective randomized trial comparing the longitudinal pancreaticojejunostomy combined with local pancreatic head excision with the pylorus-preserving pancreatoduodenectomy.


OBJECTIVE: To analyze the efficacy of extended drainage--that is, longitudinal pancreaticojejunostomy combined with local pancreatic head excision (LPJ-LPHE)-and pylorus-preserving pancreatoduodenectomy (PPPD) in terms of pain relief, control of complications arising from adjacent organs, and quality of life. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Based on the hypotheses of pain origin (ductal hypertension and perineural inflammatory infiltration), drainage and resection constitute the main principles of surgery for chronic pancreatitis. METHODS: Sixty-one patients were randomly allocated to either LPJ-LPHE (n = 31) or PPPD (n = 30). The interval between symptoms and surgery ranged from 12 months to 10 years (mean 5.1 years). In addition to routine pancreatic diagnostic workup, a multidimensional psychometric quality-of-life questionnaire and a pain score were used. Endocrine and exocrine functions were assessed in terms of oral glucose tolerance and serum concentrations of insulin, C-peptide, and HbA1c, as well as fecal chymotrypsin and pancreolauryl testing. During a median follow-up of 24 months (range 12 to 36), patients were reassessed in the outpatient clinic. RESULTS: One patient died of cardiovascular failure in the LPJ-LPHE group (3.2%); there were no deaths in the PPPD group. Overall, the rate of in-hospital complications was 19.4% in the LPJ-LPHE group and 53.3% in the PPPD group, including delayed gastric emptying in 9 of 30 patients (30%; p < 0.05). Complications of adjacent organs were definitively resolved in 93.5% in the LPJ-LPHE group and in 100% in the PPPD group. The pain score decreased by 94% after LPJ-LPHE and by 95% after PPPD. Global quality of life improved by 71% in the LPJ-LPHE group and by 43% in the PPPD group (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Both procedures are equally effective in terms of pain relief and definitive control of complications affecting adjacent organs, but extended drainage by LPJ-LPHE provides a better quality of life.

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Selected References

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