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Br J Surg. 2014 Jan;101(2):114-9. doi: 10.1002/bjs.9366. Epub 2013 Dec 10.

Splenic vein thrombosis and pancreatic fistula after minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy.

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Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea; Department of Pancreaticobiliary Cancer Clinic, Institute of Gastroenterology, Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea.



This study aimed to investigate the clinical relevance of splenic vein thrombosis (SVT) in the splenic vein remnant following minimally invasive distal pancreatosplenectomy (DPS).


Medical records of patients who underwent laparoscopic or robotic distal pancreatectomy (DP) with or without splenectomy between January 2006 and August 2012 were reviewed. Rates of SVT and clinically relevant postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) were compared in a group of patients undergoing DPS and a group having spleen-preserving DP.


Seventy-nine patients had minimally invasive DP, of whom 38 (48 per cent) developed SVT in the splenic vein remnant. DPS was associated with POPF (P = 0.001) and SVT (P < 0.001). SVT length was closely related to the amount of peripancreatic fluid collection (P = 0.025) and POPF (P = 0.045). In a comparison of splenic vessel-sacrificing, spleen-preserving DP and DPS, postoperative platelet count was significantly higher in the DPS group (P < 0.001). In addition, grade of SVT (P = 0.092) and POPF (P = 0.065) tended to be associated with DPS, suggesting that SVT may be related to both splenectomy and POPF.


Minimally invasive DPS is associated with SVT and POPF. Preservation of the spleen should be considered when treating patients with benign and borderline malignant tumours of the distal pancreas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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