The 2012 international consensus guidelines defined a subcategory of pancreatic branch duct intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms with “worrisome features,” which may be followed with close surveillance. However, given the poor prognosis of invasive malignancy, the role of early, upfront resection requires further investigation.Objective
To compare the utility of upfront resection vs long-term surveillance. We hypothesized that surveillance of these cystic neoplasms would offer greater long-term utility.Design, Setting, and Participants
A Markov decision analysis model was constructed to estimate and compare 2 management strategies: early resection and long-term surveillance. Estimates for the utility of outcomes, probabilities of transitions between disease states, and probabilities of surgical morbidity were derived from a literature review of articles published between 1997 and 2014. The comparative effectiveness model’s variable estimates were based on data published predominantly by high-volume, tertiary referral centers. Model probability variable estimates were derived from large, retrospective, single-institution reports. For utility variables, estimates derived from studies using standard-gamble or time-tradeoff methods were given greater weight.Main Outcomes and Measures
Expected utility was measured in terms of quality-adjusted life years using 3% annual discount. Probabilistic and 1-way sensitivity analyses were performed to assess the potential effects of uncertainty in estimates of key model variables.Results
Early resection yielded 11.63 quality-adjusted life-years during 20 years of follow-up compared with 11.06 for surveillance. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis indicated that resection has a 94% likelihood of being more effective than surveillance. Early resection obtained greater utility only if each of the following criteria are met: life expectancy is at least 18 years, surgical mortality is less than 4.3%, and baseline preoperative utility is at least 0.78. Additional drivers of the model outcomes include the rate of progression from worrisome to high-risk features and the likelihood of finding cancer on resection for neoplasms with high-risk stigmata.Conclusions and Relevance
Early resection compares favorably with surveillance in the management of branch duct intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms with worrisome features. However, careful consideration of patient factors and surgeon outcomes is imperative.