Background: Obstruction of the pancreatic duct can lead to pancreatic fibrosis. We investigated the correlation between the extent of pancreatic fibrosis and the postoperative exocrine and endocrine pancreatic function. Methods: Fifty-five patients who were treated for pancreatic and periampullary carcinoma and 19 patients with chronic pancreatitis were evaluated. Exocrine pancreatic function was evaluated by fecal elastase-1 test, while endocrine pancreatic function was assessed by plasma glucose level. The extent of fibrosis, duct dilation and endocrine tissue loss was examined histopathologically. Results: A strong correlation was found between pancreatic fibrosis and elastase-1 level less than 100 μg/g (p < 0.0001), reflecting severe exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. A strong correlation was found between pancreatic fibrosis and endocrine tissue loss (p < 0.0001). Neither pancreatic fibrosis nor endocrine tissue loss were correlated with the development of postoperative diabetes mellitus. Duct dilation alone was neither correlated with exocrine nor with endocrine function loss. Conclusion: The majority of patients develop severe exocrine pancreatic insufficiency after pancreatoduodenectomy. The extent of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is strongly correlated with preoperative fibrosis. The loss of endocrine tissue does not correlate with postoperative diabetes mellitus. Preoperative dilation of the pancreatic duct per se does not predict exocrine or endocrine pancreatic insufficiency postoperatively. Copyright

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Digestive Surgery
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Tran, K., van 't Hof, G., Kazemier, G., Hop, W., Pek, C., van Toorenenbergen, A., … van Eijck, C. (2008). Pancreatic fibrosis correlates with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency after pancreatoduodenectomy. Digestive Surgery, 25(4), 311–318. doi:10.1159/000158596