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J Gastrointest Surg. 2010 Nov;14(11):1832-7. doi: 10.1007/s11605-010-1297-5. Epub 2010 Aug 20.

Intra-abdominal fat predicts survival in pancreatic cancer.

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Michael E DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



Body mass index (BMI) has proven unreliable in predicting survival following pancreaticoduodenectomy for cancer. While measures of intra-abdominal fat correlate with medical and postoperative complications of obesity, the impact of intra-abdominal fat on pancreatic cancer survival is uncertain. We hypothesized that the quantity of intra-abdominal fat would predict survival following resection of pancreatic cancer.


Preoperative CT imaging was used to measure intra-abdominal fat. Cox regression analyses were used to identify independent predictors of survival.


Sixty-one patients from 2000-2009 underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy for exocrine pancreatic adenocarcinoma. After adjusting for age and perineural invasion status, preoperative BMI did not predict overall survival (p < 0.827). Unlike BMI, quartile of intra-abdominal fat predicted survival. Relative to patients with the least intra-abdominal fat (lowest quartile), those with more intra-abdominal fat demonstrated worse overall survival, but in a non-linear fashion. Individuals in the second quartile showed a fourfold increase in likelihood of death (HR 4.018, 95% CI 1.099-14.687, p < 0.035) relative to the lowest quartile. Patients in the third (HR 2.124, 95% CI 0.278-16.222, p < 0.468) and fourth quartile (HR 1.354, 95% CI 0.296-6.190, p < 0.696) also showed greater risk of death.


Measuring intra-abdominal fat identifies a subset of patients with worse prognosis in pancreatic cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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