Management of Blunt Major Pancreatic Injury

Being Chuan Lin, Ray Jade Chen, Jen Feng Fang, Yu Pao Hsu, Yi Chin Kao, Jung Liang Kao

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174 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Major duct injury is the principal determinant of outcome for patients with pancreatic trauma, and there are a number of therapeutic choices available specific to the location of the insult. We report a series of blunt major pancreatic injury cases, with a review of the different procedures used and a discussion of the results. Methods: A total of 48 cases of blunt major pancreatic injury treated during a 10-year period at one trauma center were reviewed retrospectively. Diagnosis and assessment of injury severity were based on imaging studies and proved by surgical findings. Charts were reviewed to establish the mechanism of injury, surgical indications and imaging studies, management strategy, and outcome. Results: Of the 32 grade III patients, 19 underwent distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy, 8 had pancreatectomy with preservation of the spleen, and 2 received a pancreatic duct stent, with the remaining 3 individuals undergoing nonsurgical treatment, pancreaticojejunostomy, and drainage alone, respectively. The grade III complication rate was 60.6%. Of the 14 grade IV patients, 4 underwent drainage alone because of the severity of the associated injuries, 4 underwent pancreaticojejunostomy, 3 had distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy, and 1 underwent distal pancreatectomy. The two remaining patients received a pancreatic duct stent. The grade IV complication rate was 53.8%. The Whipple procedure was performed for two grade V patients; one died subsequently. For all 48 patients, intraabdominal abscess was the most common morbidity (n = 11) followed, in order of prevalence, by major duct stricture (n = 4), pancreatitis (n = 2), pseudocyst (n = 2), pancreatic fistula (n = 1), and biliary fistula (n = 1). All stented cases developed complications, with one dying and three experiencing major duct stricture. Conclusion: The complication rate for our cases of blunt major pancreatic injury was high (62.2%), especially when treatment was delayed more than 24 hours; the same result was also noted for cases transferred from other institutions. Distal pancreatectomy with spleen preservation had a lower complication rate (22.2%) compared with other procedures and is suggested for grade III and grade IV injuries. Magnetic resonance pancreatography was unreliable early after injury but was effective in the chronic stage. Although pancreatic duct stenting can be used to treat posttraumatic pancreatic fistula and pseudocyst, the major duct stricture in the chronic stage of recovery and the risk of sepsis in the acute stage must be overcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-778
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Magnetic resonance pancreatography
  • Major pancreatic duct
  • Pancreatic duct stent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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