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Am Surg. 2009 Sep;75(9):804-9; discussion 809-10.

Resection of portovenous structures to obtain microscopically negative margins during pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma is worthwhile.

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University of South Florida, Department of Surgery and Tampa General Hospital Center for Digestive Disorders, Tampa, Florida 33601, USA.


Locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma may require resections of the portal vein and/or its major tributaries to achieve tumor extirpation, albeit with the potential for increased morbidity and mortality. However, major venous resections can impart complete tumor extirpation and thereby a survival advantage compared with resections with residual microscopic disease. This study was undertaken to determine if resection of the portal vein and/or its splenic or superior mesenteric venous (SMV) tributaries is a worthwhile endeavor. Since 1995, patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) for pancreatic adenocarcinoma have been prospectively followed. The impact of portovenous resections (portal vein, SMV, and/or splenic vein) on survival was evaluated using survival curve analysis (Mantel-Cox test). Margins were codified as R0 or R1 and data are presented as median, mean +/- SD where appropriate. For 220 patients undergoing PD for pancreatic adenocarcinoma, survival was 17 months. Patients undergoing R0 resections had improved survival relative to patients undergoing R1 resections (20 vs 13 months, P < 0.03). Concomitant portovenous resections were undertaken in 48 patients. There was no difference in survival after PD without portovenous resection (17 months) versus PD with portovenous resection (18 months). Resections with complete tumor extirpation (i.e., R0 resections) provide superior long-term survival; all efforts to obtain R0 resections should be undertaken. Portovenous resections during pancreaticoduodenectomy can be undertaken safely and are worthwhile when complete tumor extirpation is attainable.

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