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HPB (Oxford). 2010 Dec;12(10):696-702. doi: 10.1111/j.1477-2574.2010.00239.x.

A simple scoring system based on clinical factors related to pancreatic texture predicts postoperative pancreatic fistula preoperatively.

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Department of General and Visceral Surgery Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.



Postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) is regarded as the most serious complication of pancreatic surgery. The preoperative risk stratification of patients by simple means is of interest in perioperative clinical management.


Based on prospective data, we performed a risk factor analysis for POPF after pancreatoduodenectomy in 62 patients operated between 2006 and 2008 with special focus on clinical parameters that might serve to predict POPF. A predictive score was developed and validated in an independent second dataset of 279 patients operated between 2001 and 2010.


Several pre- and intraoperative factors, as well as underlying pathology, showed significant univariate correlation with rate of POPF. Multivariate analysis (binary logistic regression) disclosed soft pancreatic texture (odds ratio [OR] 10.80, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.80-62.20) and history of weight loss (OR 0.15, 95% CI 0.04-0.66) to be the only independent preoperative clinical factors influencing POPF rate. The subjective assessment of pancreatic hardness by the surgeon correlated highly with objective assessment of pancreatic fibrosis by the pathologist (r = -0.68, P < 0.001, two-tailed Spearman's rank correlation). A simple risk score based on preoperatively available clinical parameters was able to stratify patients correctly into three risk groups and was independently validated.


Preoperative stratification of patients regarding risk for POPF by simple clinical parameters is feasible. Pancreatic texture, as evaluated intraoperatively by the surgeon, is the strongest single predictive factor of POPF. The findings of the study may have important implications for perioperative risk assessment and patient care, as well as for the choice of anastomotic techniques.

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