Background: The aim of this meta-analysis was to analyse the outcomes of major pancreatic surgery among the elderly (≥75 and ≥80 years of age).
Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted using Embase, MEDLINE, Cochrane and PubMed databases on all studies published between January 1990 and April 2012 reporting peri-operative outcomes after a pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) among the elderly. Primary end-points measured were peri-operative mortality and the incidence of post-operative complications. Secondary outcomes considered included the incidence of post-operative pancreatic fistula formation (POPF), delayed gastric emptying (DGE), wound infection, pneumonia, post-operative bleeding and length of hospital stay.
Results: Eleven trials were included comprising 5186 patients; 7 studies comparing endpoints in patients aged ≥75 years vs. younger populations and 4 studies comparing endpoints in patients aged ≥80 years vs. younger populations. In both groups, there was a statistically significant increase in the incidence of mortality and post-operative pneumonia in the elderly population. The incidence of post-operative complications was also found to be statistically significant among patients ≥80 years of age vs. their younger cohorts.
Conclusions: There is an increased incidence of post-operative mortality and pneumonia after a PD among all elderly patients ≥75 years of age, as well as an increased incidence of post-operative complications among patients ≥80 years of age. Additional randomized control trials studying post-PD operative outcomes in elderly vs. younger patients with standardization of comorbidities is therefore necessary to confirm the conclusions presented here.
© 2012 International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association.