Aim: To allow the identification of high-risk postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) patients with special reference to the International Study Group on Pancreatic Fistula (ISGPF) classification.
Methods: Between 1997 and 2010, 1341 consecutive patients underwent gastrectomy for gastric cancer at the Department of Digestive Surgery, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan. Based on the preoperative diagnosis, total or distal gastrectomy and sufficient lymphadenectomy was performed, mainly according to the Japanese guidelines for the treatment of gastric cancer. Of these, 35 patients (2.6%) were diagnosed with Grade B or C POPF according to the ISGPF classification and were treated intensively. The hospital records of these patients were reviewed retrospectively.
Results: Of 35 patients with severe POPF, 17 (49%) and 18 (51%) patients were classified as Grade B and C POPF, respectively. From several clinical factors, the severity of POPF according to the ISGPF classification was significantly correlated with the duration of intensive POPF treatments (P = 0.035). Regarding the clinical factors to distinguish extremely severe POPF, older patients (P = 0.035, 65 years ≤ vs < 65 years old) and those with lower lymphocyte counts at the diagnosis of POPF (P = 0.007, < 1400/mm(3) vs 1400/mm(3) ≤) were significantly correlated with Grade C POPF, and a low lymphocyte count was an independent risk factor by multivariate analysis [P = 0.045, OR = 10.45 (95%CI: 1.050-104.1)].
Conclusion: Caution and intensive care are required for older POPF patients and those with lower lymphocyte counts at the diagnosis of POPF.
Keywords: Complication; Gastrectomy; Gastric cancer; International Study Group on Pancreatic Fistula classification; Pancreatic fistula.