Pancreatic tumor involvement with the superior mesenteric vein/portal vein (SMV/PV) is common and requires exploration and resection, which has now become an integral part of routine surgical treatment. The short-term outcome of SMV/PV reconstruction with interposed cold-stored cadaveric venous allografts was found to be comparable to that of reconstruction with primary end-to-end anastomosis, according to the results of a study performed by Dyre Kleive, MD, and his colleagues.

In order to assess the optimal method of reconstructing the portal vein during pancreatic surgery, Dr. Kleive and his colleagues performed a retrospective review of all patients undergoing pancreatic surgery with venous resection and reconstruction at a single center between January 2006 and December 2015.

A total of 857 patients underwent open pancreatic surgery during the study period, of whom 171 (20%) had vascular resection and reconstruction. The study population comprised 42 patients treated with cold-stored interposition cadaveric allografts for reconstruction and 71 patients who had primary end-to-end anastomosis instead. Patients with other forms of reconstruction were excluded, according to an online report in the Journal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders (2017. doi: 10.1016/j.jvsv.2017.09.003 ).

Early failure at the reconstruction site was defined as the presence of thrombosis or no flow or low flow within the first 30 days after surgery.

Patients in the allograft group had statistically significantly longer mean operative times, more intraoperative bleeding, more frequent use of neoadjuvant therapy, and a longer length of tumor-vein involvement than the anastomosis group.

However, there was no statistically significant difference in the number of patients with major complications (42.9% for allografts vs. 36.6% for anastomosis) or early failure at the reconstruction site (9.5% for allografts vs. 8.5% for anastomosis) between the two groups, Dr Kleive and his colleagues reported.

The proportion of patients with grade C stenosis at last available imaging scan was significantly higher in the allograft group (26/42 [61.9%] vs. 13 of 66 [19.7%] for the anastomosis group; P less than .01). A subgroup analysis of 10 patients in the allograft group showed the presence of donor-specific antibodies in all patients. This could indicate that graft rejection was a contributing factor to the statistically higher development of severe stenosis in allograft vs. anastomosis patients, the authors suggested.

“This study shows that the short-term outcome of SMV/PV reconstruction with interposed cold-stored cadaveric venous allografts is comparable to that of reconstruction with primary end-to-end anastomosis,” the researchers concluded.

Dr. Kleive and his colleagues reported that they had no conflicts of interest.


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