Background: Combined portal vein (PV) resection is performed for pancreatic head cancer to achieve clear resection margins. This can be complicated by the formation of varices due to sinistral portal hypertension after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) with combined PV resection. However, clinical strategies to prevent varices formation due to sinistral portal hypertension remain controversial. Moreover, the critical vein among splenic vein (SPV), inferior mesenteric vein, left gastric vein, or middle colonic vein requiring preservation to prevent the development of varices remains unclear. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed patients with pancreatic cancer who underwent PD with combined PV resection over 18 years at our institution. Varices were evaluated using enhanced computed tomography (CT) and endoscopy. Preoperative types of porto-mesenterico-splenic confluence, venous drainage, and venous resection types were determined by operative records and CT findings. Results: Of the 108 subjects, the incidence of postoperative varices was observed in 24.1% of cases over 5.6 months. These varices were classified into five types based on location, as pancreaticojejunostomy anastomotic (11.5%), gastrojejunostomy anastomotic (11.5%), esophageal (11.5%), splenic hilar-gastric (23.1%), and right colonic (65.4%) varices. No case of variceal bleeding occurred. Multivariate analysis showed SPV ligation as the greatest risk factor of varices (P < 0.001), with a higher incidence of left-sided varices in patients with all the SPV venous drainage sacrificed (60%) than in the others (16.7%). Therefore, sacrificing all the SPV venous drainage was the only independent risk factor of varices (P = 0.049). Conclusions: Preservation of SPV venous drainage should be considered during SPV ligation to prevent post-PD varices.
- Pancreatic cancer
- Portal hypertension
- Portal vein
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism