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Dig Surg. 2006;23(4):224-8. Epub 2006 Jul 26.

Haemorrhage following pancreaticoduodenectomy: risk factors and the importance of sentinel bleed.

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Liver Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.



To document the prevalence and to evaluate the management strategies of haemorrhagic complications following pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD).


All patients who underwent PD from 1/2000 to 10/2005 and experienced at least one episode of haemorrhage during the 30 first days postoperatively were recorded. Etiology of haemorrhage, treatment strategy and mortality rate were recorded and analyzed.


A total of 362 patients underwent PD during this period and 32 (8.8%) had haemorrhage postoperatively of whom 15 died (47% mortality rate). Primary intraluminal haemorrhage was recorded in 13 patients, primary intra-abdominal haemorrhage in 5 patients and secondary haemorrhage in 14 patients. Successful management of haemorrhage with angioembilization occurred in 2 patients in the study group. Statistical analysis revealed sepsis and sentinel bleed as risk factors for post-PD haemorrhage and pancreatic leak and sentinel bleed as risk factors for secondary haemorrhage (p < 0.05).


Haemorrhage after PD is a life-threatening complication. Sepsis, pancreatic leak, and sentinel bleed are statistical significant factors predicting post-PD haemorrhage. Sentinel bleed is not statistically significant associated with postoperative mortality, but with the onset of secondary haemorrhage. The effectiveness of therapeutic angioembolization was not demonstrated in our study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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