Edinburgh Research Explorer

Pre-, peri- and post-operative factors for the development of pancreatic fistula after pancreatic surgery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Early online date27 Jul 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jul 2019


Background: The most hazardous complication to pancreatic surgery is the development of a post-operative pancreatic fistula (POPF). Appropriate understanding of the underlying pathophysiology, risk factors and perioperative mechanisms may allow for better management and use of preventive measures.
Methods: Systematic literature search using the English PubMed literature up to April 2019, with emphasis on the past 5 years.
Results: Several risk scores have been developed but none are perfect in predicting POPF risk. A conceptual framework of factors that contribute to the pathophysiology of pancreatic fistulae is still developing but incomplete. Recognized factors include those related to the patient, the pathology and the perioperative care. Interventions such as use of drains, stents and various drugs to mediate risk is still debated. Emerging data suggest that both the microbiome and the inflammation in the post-operative phase may play important roles in risk for POPF. Available risk scores allow for stratification of risk and mitigation strategies tailored to reduce this. However, accurate estimation of risk remains a challenge and mechanisms are only partially understood.
Conclusions: The pathophysiology of POPF remains poorly understood. Current models only partially explain risks or associated mechanisms. Novel areas of investigation need to be explored for better prediction.
Key words: pancreas surgery; pancreas fistula; morbidity; pathophysiology

ID: 94988334