Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of the pancreas and subsequent transection of the main pancreatic duct may avoid the risk of both necrotizing pancreatitis and postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) formation.
Methods: Thirty-two rats were subjected to RFA and section of the pancreas over their portal vein. Animals were killed at 3, 7, 15, and 21 days (groups 0-3, respectively). Two additional control groups (sham operation and user manipulation only, respectively) of 15 days of postoperative period were considered. Postoperative complications, histological changes (including morphometric and immunohistochemical analysis), and incidence of POPF were evaluated.
Results: A significant increase in serum amylase levels (P < 0.05) on the third postoperative day, which return to baseline levels in the following weeks, was noted in groups 0 to 3. Those groups showed a rapid atrophy of the distal pancreas by apoptosis with no signs of necrotizing pancreatitis or POPF. The distal pancreas in groups 1 to 3 compared with group 0 and control groups showed a significant increase of small islets (<1000 µm).
Conclusions: The rapid acinar atrophy of the distal pancreas after RFA and section of the pancreatic ducts in this model does not lead to necrotizing pancreatitis.