Objective: To compare the presentation and short-term results of pancreaticoduodenectomy for lymphoplasmacytic sclerosing pancreatitis (LPSP) and pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PA) and to provide long-term follow-up on patients undergoing resection for LPSP.
Summary background data: LPSP is a rare form of chronic pancreatitis characterized by a mixed inflammatory infiltrate centered around pancreatic ducts and ductules, combined with obliterative phlebitis. Its presentation may mimic that of PA.
Methods: Among 1,648 patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy at the authors' institution from January 1992 to May 2002, 37 with LPSP were identified. The demographics, clinical features, and short- and long-term outcomes of these patients were analyzed. Where applicable, comparisons were made to a consecutive group of 45 patients who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy for PA from July 2001 to December 2001.
Results: Twenty-four percent (9/37) of the LPSP patients and none of the PA patients had a history of either atopic or autoimmune disease. The LPSP patients had a similar clinical presentation to the PA patients, but the LPSP patients were less likely to have a discrete pancreatic mass on CT and more likely to have CT findings suggesting a diffusely enlarged pancreas. The LPSP patients were also less likely to have a discrete pancreatic mass at operation, more likely to have a diffusely firm or hard gland, and more likely to have a difficult portal vein/superior mesenteric vein dissection when compared to the PA patients. Transfusion requirement, operative time, postoperative length of stay, and overall complication rate were similar between groups; however, the LPSP patients had a greater operative blood loss. The median length of follow-up for LPSP patients was 33 months. No patients had recurrent jaundice. One patient with LPSP had clinically evident recurrent pancreatitis. Among LPSP patients available for current telephone interview, 68% subjectively rated their quality of life as better, 18% reported no change, and 14% reported diminished quality of life compared to before surgery.
Conclusion: LPSP mimics PA in clinical presentation, though CT findings of a diffusely enlarged pancreas without a discrete mass may suggest a diagnosis of LPSP. Nevertheless, differentiation from pancreatic neoplasia remains difficult. Patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy for LPSP have durable relief of symptoms and a subjectively improved quality of life.