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J Gastrointest Surg. 2014 Feb;18(2):348-53. doi: 10.1007/s11605-013-2293-3. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

Postoperative serum amylase predicts pancreatic fistula formation following pancreaticoduodenectomy.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Stanford University, 300 Pasteur Dr, H3591, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.



Early identification of patients at risk for developing pancreatic fistula (PF) after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) may facilitate prevention or treatment strategies aimed at reducing its associated morbidity.


A retrospective review of 176 consecutive PD performed between 2006 and 2011 was conducted in order to analyze the association between the serum amylase on postoperative day 1 (POD1) and the development of PF.


Serum amylase was recorded on POD1 in 146 of 176 PD cases (83.0 %). Twenty-seven patients (18.5 %) developed a postoperative PF: 6 type A, 19 type B, and 2 type C. Patients with a PF had a mean serum amylase on POD1 of 659 ± 581 compared to 246 ± 368 in those without a fistula (p < 0.001). On logistic regression, a serum amylase >140 U/L on POD1 was strongly associated with developing a PF (OR, 5.48; 95 % CI, 1.94-15.44). Sensitivity and specificity of a postoperative serum amylase >140 U/L was 81.5 and 55.5 %, respectively. Positive and negative predictive values were 29.3 and 93.0 %, respectively.


An elevated serum amylase on POD1 may be used, in addition to other prognostic factors, to help stratify risk for developing PF following PD.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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