Effectiveness and outcome of endovascular therapy for late-onset postpancreatectomy hemorrhage using covered stents and embolization

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical and long-term outcome of patients who underwent covered stent treatment because of late-onset postpancreatectomy hemorrhage in a greater number of patients. A secondary study goal was to compare embolization techniques with covered stents regarding differences in early and late clinical outcome, rebleeding, and vessel patency.


Between December 2008 and June 2015, 27 consecutive patients suffering from major hemorrhage after pancreatic surgery underwent either covered stent placement or embolization of the affected visceral artery. The patients' medical reports and radiologic images were retrospectively reviewed. The main study end point was technical and clinical success, including survival and complications; the secondary end points were perfusion distal to the target vessel and, for covered stent placement, patency of the affected artery.


Covered stent placement was successful in 14 of 16 patients (88%); embolization was successful in 10 of 11 (91%) patients. For the embolization group, the overall 30-day and 1-year survival rate was 70%, and the 1- and 2-year survival rate was 56%; for the covered stent group, these rates were 81% and 74%, respectively. The 30-day patency of the covered stent was 84%, and 1-year patency was 42%; clinically relevant ischemia was observed in two patients. Infarction distal to the embolized vessel occurred in 6 of 11 patients (55%).


Endovascular treatment using either covered stents or embolization techniques is an effective and safe emergency therapy for life-threatening postpancreatectomy hemorrhage with good clinical success rates and long-term results. Covered stent placement preserving vessel patency in the early postoperative phase should be preferred to embolization if it is technically feasible.

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