Impact of pancreas transection site on incidence of pancreatic fistula after distal pancreatectomy: a propensity score matched study

HPB (Oxford). 2024 May 23:S1365-182X(24)01738-6. doi: 10.1016/j.hpb.2024.05.012. Online ahead of print.


Background: Distal pancreatectomy (DP) is performed for lesions in the body and tail of the pancreas. The morbidity profile is considerable, mainly due to clinically relevant postoperative pancreatic fistula (CR-POPF). This study aims to investigate potential differences in CR-POPF related to transection site.

Methods: An observational cohort study from a prospectively maintained database was performed. Subtotal distal pancreatectomy (SDP) was defined as transection over the superior mesenteric vein, and DP was defined as transection lateral to this point. Propensity score matching (PSM) in 1:1 fashion was applied based on demographical and perioperative variables.

Results: Six hundred and six patients were included in the analysis (1997-2020). Four hundred twenty (69.3%) underwent DP, while 186 (30.7%) underwent SDP. The rate of CR-POPF was 19.3% after DP and 20.4% after SDP (p = 0.74). SDP was associated with older age (63.1 vs 60.1 years, p = 0.016), higher occurrence of ductal adenocarcinoma (37.1 vs 17.6%, p = 0.001) and more frequent use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (3.8 vs 0.7%, p = 0.012). After PSM, 155 patients were left in each group. The difference in CR-POPF between DP and SDP remained statistically non-significant (20.6 vs 18.7%, p = 0.67).

Conclusion: This study found no difference in CR-POPF related to transection site during distal pancreatectomy.