Purpose: To investigate the impact of early postoperative drainage fluid culture positivity on the development of clinically relevant postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD). Methods: We assessed the positive prevalence, distribution, and drug sensitivity of microorganisms in drainage fluid collected on postoperative day (POD) 1 after PD from 465 patients. Results: Culture results were positive in pancreaticojejunostomy (PJ) drainage fluid from 26.0% of patients. Similar distributions of microorganisms were observed in the bile juice and PJ/hepaticojejunostomy (HJ) drainage fluid from these patients. PJ drain culture positivity was associated with an elevated drainage amylase level and with preoperative biliary drainage. No associations were seen between HJ drainage culture positivity and the drainage amylase and bilirubin levels. PJ drainage culture positivity was found to be an independent predictor of grade B/C POPF. According to the antibiogram, the bacteria identified were likely to be resistant to prophylactic antibiotics. Conclusions: PJ drainage culture positivity on POD 1 in combination with an elevated drainage amylase level is an early predictor of grade B/C POPF. PJ drainage culture positivity may be attributable to bile juice contamination caused by intraoperative spillage and early postoperative leakage from the PJ anastomotic sites.
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