Endoscopic transmural drainage is associated with improved outcomes in disconnected pancreatic duct syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis

BMC Gastroenterol. 2021 Feb 25;21(1):87. doi: 10.1186/s12876-021-01663-2.


Background: Disconnected pancreatic duct syndrome (DPDS) is a complication of acute necrotizing pancreatitis in the neck and body of the pancreas often manifesting as persistent pancreatic fluid collection (PFC) or external pancreatic fistula (EPF). This systematic review and pairwise meta-analysis aimed to review the definitions, clinical presentation, intervention, and outcomes for DPDS.

Methods: The PubMed, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and SCOPUS databases were systematically searched until February 2020 using the PRISMA framework. A meta-analysis was performed to assess the success rates of endoscopic and surgical interventions for the treatment of DPDS. Success of DPDS treatment was defined as long-term resolution of symptoms without recurrence of PFC, EPF, or pancreatic ascites.

Results: Thirty studies were included in the quantitative analysis comprising 1355 patients. Acute pancreatitis was the most common etiology (95.3%, 936/982), followed by chronic pancreatitis (3.1%, 30/982). DPDS commonly presented with PFC (83.2%, 948/1140) and EPF (13.4%, 153/1140). There was significant heterogeneity in the definition of DPDS in the literature. Weighted success rate of endoscopic transmural drainage (90.6%, 95%-CI 81.0-95.6%) was significantly higher than transpapillary drainage (58.5%, 95%-CI 36.7-77.4). Pairwise meta-analysis showed comparable success rates between endoscopic and surgical intervention, which were 82% (weighted 95%-CI 68.6-90.5) and 87.4% (95%-CI 81.2-91.8), respectively (P = 0.389).

Conclusions: Endoscopic transmural drainage was superior to transpapillary drainage for the management of DPDS. Endoscopic and surgical interventions had comparable success rates. The significant variability in the definitions and treatment strategies for DPDS warrant standardisation for further research.

Keywords: Acute necrotizing pancreatitis; Disconnected pancreatic duct; Pancreatic duct disruption; Pancreatic fistula.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde
  • Drainage
  • Humans
  • Pancreatic Ducts / surgery
  • Pancreatic Pseudocyst* / etiology
  • Pancreatic Pseudocyst* / surgery
  • Pancreatitis*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome