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South Med J. 1991 Jan;84(1):55-64.

The efficacy of palliative and definitive percutaneous versus surgical drainage of pancreatic abscesses and pseudocysts: a prospective study of 85 patients.

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Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans 70112.


We compared the efficacy of percutaneous to surgical drainage in a prospective study in 85 patients with pancreatic abscesses and pseudocysts. Percutaneous drainage of pancreatic abscesses in 18 patients cured three and palliated 12 who were eventually cured by elective surgical ablation; three patients died. This compares well to our 15 surgical patients, of whom four were cured by surgery alone and six were palliated. All were subsequently cured by additional computerized tomography-guided or ultrasound-guided percutaneous drainage and medical management or surgery. Five of the 15 died. Percutaneous drainage cured 11 of 14 infected pseudocysts and palliated two, which were subsequently cured by surgery; one was palliated but the patient was lost to follow-up. Surgical drainage cured six of 12 infected pseudocysts and palliated the other six, of which four were cured by further surgery and the other two were cured by secondary percutaneous drainage. Nine of 12 noninfected pseudocysts were cured by percutaneous aspiration, and two were palliated and later cured. In one patient, disease progressed, and he was ultimately lost to follow-up. Thirteen of 14 noninfected pseudocysts were cured by surgical drainage. The other patient died of pulmonary embolus. In patients treated by percutaneous techniques, there were four major complications. Our study established distinct advantages of percutaneous drainage under computerized tomographic and ultrasonic guidance: (1) the procedures can be carried out under ultrasonic guidance in an intensive care unit on critically ill patients, (2) the technique proved highly effective for initial palliation, with defervescence and stabilization occurring in most critically ill patients within 48 hours, (3) findings from fine needle aspiration provided valuable information as to microorganisms and antibiotic sensitivities and differed in 29 of 85 patients from those of concomitant blood cultures, and (4) definitive eradication of the process (surgical ablation of residual necrotic material) can be elected after the patient's clinical condition stabilizes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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