Can We Predict Postoperative Pancreatic Leakage After Pancreaticoduodenectomy Using Preoperative Fecal Elastase-1 Level?

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The measurement of fecal elastas-1 in stools is a sensitive and relatively inexpensive noninvasive test. The aim of this study was to study fecal elastase levels in patients who develop pancreatic leakage after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) to determine if fecal elastase level can be used to predict patients at high risk for pancreatic leakage after PD.


Pancreatic function was considered normal when fecal elastase-1 concentration exceeded 200 μg/g feces and moderately or severely insufficient when fecal elastas-1 concentration was less than 200 μg/g feces.


Of 123 patients who underwent PD, 67 (54.5%) showed fecal elastase-1 levels less than 200 μg/g, indicating moderate or severe pancreatic insufficiency. Pancreas texture, pathology origin, and level of γ-glutamyl transferase (r-GT) were significantly correlated with fecal elastas-1 level. On univariate analysis, the incidence of pancreatic leakage was significantly greater in the group with normal fecal elastase-1 level (≥200 μg/g), pathologic origin (bile duct/ampulla/duodenum), and soft pancreas texture. In multivariate analysis, normal fecal elastase-1 level (≥200 μg/g) and soft pancreatic texture were identified as independent factors for pancreatic leakage.


Fecal elastase-1 is the most simple and objective method for predicting pancreatic leakage after PD.

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