Operative Versus Nonoperative Management of Blunt Pancreatic Trauma in Children: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare operative versus nonoperative management of blunt pancreatic trauma in children. A systematic literature search was performed. Studies including children with blunt pancreatic injuries classified according to the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma classification were included. The primary outcome was pseudocyst formation. After screening 526 studies, 23 studies with 928 patients were included. Sufficient data were available for 674 patients (73%). Of 309 patients with grade I or II injuries, 258 (83%) were initially managed nonoperatively with a 96% success rate. Of 365 patients with grade III, IV, or V injuries, nonoperative management was initially chosen for 167 patients (46%) with an 89% success rate. Pseudocysts occurred in 18% of patients managed nonoperatively versus 4% of patients managed operatively (P < 0.01), of whom 65% were treated nonoperatively. Hospitalization was 20.5 days after nonoperative versus 15.1 days after operative management (nonparametric t test, P = 0.41). Blunt pancreatic trauma in children can be managed nonoperatively in the majority of patients with grade I or II injuries and in about half of the patients with grade III to V injuries. Although pseudocysts are more common after nonoperative management, two thirds can be managed nonoperatively.

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