Background Exocrine insufficiency frequently develops in patients with pancreatic cancer owing to tumour ingrowth and pancreatic duct obstruction. Surgery might restore this function by removing the primary disease and restoring duct patency, but it may also have the opposite effect, as a result of resection of functional parenchyma and anatomical changes. This study evaluated the course of pancreatic function, before and after pancreatic resection. Methods This prospective cohort study included patients with tumours in the pancreatic region requiring pancreatic resection in a tertiary referral centre between March 2010 and August 2012. Starting before surgery, exocrine function was determined monthly by measuring faecal elastase 1 levels (normal value over 0·200 μg per g faeces). Endocrine function, steatorrhoea-related symptoms and bodyweight were also evaluated before and after surgery. Subjects were followed from diagnosis until 6 months after surgery, or until death. Results Twenty-nine patients were included, 12 with pancreatic cancer, 14 with ampullary carcinoma and three with bile duct carcinoma (median tumour size 2·6 cm). Twenty-six patients underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy and three distal pancreatectomy. Thirteen patients had exocrine insufficiency at preoperative diagnosis. After a median follow-up of 6 months, this had increased to 24 patients. Diabetes was present in seven patients at diagnosis, and developed in one additional patient within 1 month after surgery. Conclusion Most patients with tumours in the pancreatic region requiring pancreatic resection either had exocrine insufficiency at diagnosis or became exocrine-insufficient soon after surgical resection. Exocrine insufficiency requires attention

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Journal British Journal of Surgery
Sikkens, E.C.M, Cahen, D.L, J. de Wit (Jill), Looman, C.W.N, van Eijck, C.H.J, & Bruno, M.J. (2014). Prospective assessment of the influence of pancreatic cancer resection on exocrine pancreatic function. British Journal of Surgery, 101(2), 109–113. doi:10.1002/bjs.9342