Predicting the efficacy of surgery for pain relief in patients with alcoholic chronic pancreatitis

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Abstract

Background

Recurrent pain is the most disabling complication in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatic surgery is currently considered as last-resort therapeutic option. The aims of this study were to assess pancreatic surgery performance for chronic pain in patients with alcoholic chronic pancreatitis and to determine factors predictive of therapeutic response.

Methods

All patients with chronic pancreatitis who underwent pancreatic surgery for chronic pain were included and divided into 2 groups according to the cause of chronic pancreatitis: alcoholic and any other chronic pancreatitis causes as the control group. Alcohol, tobacco, and painkiller intake, quality of life data 6 months and 1 year after surgery, and morphological and pathological features were analyzed.

Results

Fifty patients were included in the alcoholic chronic pancreatitis group and 16 patients in the control group. Smoking cessation before pancreatic surgery was achieved in 40% of the alcoholic chronic pancreatitis group compared with 73% of the control group (P = .005). Histological analysis revealed a higher prevalence of hypertrophic nerves and perineural inflammation in the alcoholic chronic pancreatitis group than in the control group (P = .03 and P = .04 respectively). In multivariate analysis, in the alcoholic chronic pancreatitis group, factors predictive of 6-month narcotic use cessation were surgery performed within a maximum of 2 years after chronic pancreatitis diagnosis (odds ratio = 4.228 [1.04–17.17]) and postoperative smoking cessation (odds ratio = 3.561 [1.021–12.41]); at 1 year, only smoking cessation was predictive of narcotic use cessation (odds ratio = 11.33 [2.677–47.98]).

Conclusion

In patients with alcoholic chronic pancreatitis undergoing surgery for chronic pain, narcotic use cessation and improved quality of life depend on early surgery and complete smoking cessation.

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