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J Cancer Res Ther. 2019;15(4):857-863. doi: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_364_18.

Pancreatic fistula after pancreaticoduodenectomy: Risk factors and preventive strategies.

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Department of Radiology, The 4th Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.
Department of Radiology, OASIS International Hospital, Beijing, China.
Department of Radiology, The 1st Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.



Postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) is a worrisome and life-threatening complication. This study aimed to investigate the risk factors and preventive strategies for POPF after PD.

Materials and Methods:

We retrospectively reviewed 301 consecutive patients who underwent PD at our hospitals between January 2011 and December 2017. We analyzed the pancreatic fistula rate according to the clinical characteristics, pathologic and laboratory findings, and the anastomotic methods and summarized the prevention measures.


Postoperative morbidities included pancreatic leakage in 10.30% (31/301), delayed gastric emptying in 22.92% (69/301), abdominal infection in 6.98% (21/301), post-PD hemorrhage in 4.65% (14/301), and bile leakage in 4.98% (15/301), and the mortality rate was 2.33% (7/301). POPF was the most prominent factor for preoperative morbidity. Significant risk factors for pancreatic fistula were a soft pancreas, small pancreatic duct, tumor location, and interrupted anastomosis. Of these, soft texture, pancreatic duct <4 mm, and end-to-end anastomosis through hand suture closure were independent risk factors on multivariate analysis, while interrupted anastomosis, internal stent, and somatostatin use were risk factors in the high-risk pancreas subgroup.


Our study demonstrated that pancreatic fistula is related to a soft texture and small pancreatic duct. The surgeon must consider these risk factors when performing PD. Thus, we propose a risk- and indication-adapted choice of anastomosis or an individualized approach for the pancreatic remnant to reduce the pancreatic fistula rate.


High body mass index; pancreatoduodenectomy; postoperative complications; preventive strategies; risk factors

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