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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2001 Aug;125(8):1051-4.

Major pancreatic resections for chronic pancreatitis.

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Department of Pathology, Ohio State University, 410 W 10th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.



Indications for major pancreatic resections have been expanded to include complicated chronic pancreatitis (CP). We assessed clinical findings and outcomes and evaluated histology in patients who had major pancreatic resections for CP. We also determined if histologic findings were associated with persistent postoperative pain.


We reviewed charts and slides from 44 patients who underwent major pancreatic resections for CP between 1989 and 1999.


The etiology for disease included alcohol (n = 15), hereditary (n = 5), idiopathic (n = 6), pancreas divisum (n = 3), stricture (n = 2), trauma (n = 2), systemic lupus erythematosus (n = 1), and unknown (n = 10). Patients included 20 men and 24 women; ages ranged from 22 to 76 years. Perioperative mortality and morbidity were 0% and 4.5%, respectively. Persistent pain was present in 25 (57%) of the 44 patients, and pain was encountered more frequently in patients with alcoholic pancreatitis (67%) versus other etiologies (52%), and in those who underwent Whipple/Beger or total resections (68%) versus distal or subtotal pancreatectomy (42%). Metaplastic changes were present in 14 cases, and ductal atypia was seen in 9 cases. No malignancies were found. Acinar necrosis and acute inflammation were seen more often in patients with persistent pain than in those who were pain free (P =.081).


Major pancreatic resection for CP can be performed with low morbidity and mortality. This procedure relieves pain in nearly half the patients. There is a wide spectrum of histopathologic changes seen in CP, including ductal atypia and metaplastic changes. Acute exacerbations of CP identified histologically at the time of surgery and alcohol as etiology for CP may be associated more frequently with intractable pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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