The aims of this study were to investigate morbidity, mortality, and survival of patients with ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas who underwent pancreatectomy without (group 1) or with (group 2) en bloc portal vein resection and to study the degree of carcinoma invasion of the portal vein in group 2. The medical records of 46 and 28 patients in groups 1 and 2, respectively, were reviewed. In addition, the degree of invasion of the wall of the portal vein was categorized histologically into three types: type I, transmural invasion involving the intima; type II, invasion of the wall of the vein without intimal involvement; and type III, compression of the wall of the vein by surrounding carcinoma without true invasion. The morbidity and mortality in group 1 (26% and 4%) were not different from those in group 2 (32% and 4%). Similarly, there was no difference in survival between the two groups. Survival tended to vary directly with the depth of invasion of the wall of the portal vein: type I 6.8 ± 1.9 months; type II 15.3 ± 6.4 months; type III 20.6 ± 13.0 months. These findings suggest that en bloc resection of the pancreas and the portal vein does not increase mortality and morbidity after pancreatectomy; survival after en bloc resection was similar to that of patients not requiring portal vein resection. Combined resection of the pancreas with the portal vein could be an option in the treatment of pancreatic cancer with direct invasion of the portal vein.
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