Pancreatic transection from blunt abdominal trauma: Early versus delayed diagnosis and surgical management

Attila Oláh, Ákos Issekutz, László Haulik, Roland Makay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aims: Pancreatic trauma is relatively uncommon, but carries high morbidity and mortality rates, especially when diagnosis is delayed or inappropriate surgery is attempted. Patient Material: The clinical course and surgical management of 14 patients with distal pancreatic transection or severe laceration with or without main pancreatic duct (MPD) injury caused by blunt abdominal trauma were analyzed in a university teaching hospital. The average age of the 14 patients (12 male, 2 female) was 28.9 years (range 5-56). Six patients had isolated pancreatic trauma, and intra-abdominal and extra-abdominal (mean 0.8) injuries associated with pancreatic transection were seen in the other 8 patients. Results: Nine patients were diagnosed and operated on within the first 24 h. Eight of them underwent transection of the gland with MPD injury; distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy was performed in 3 and without splenectomy in 2, distal pancreatogastrostomy in 1, and - due to associated duodenal laceration and/or contusion of the pancreatic head - pylorus-preserving pancreatoduodenectomy in 2. In 1 case (grade II laceration) only external drainage was necessary. All the patients with early, correctly diagnosed parenchymal and ductal injury survived. Only 1 patient required reoperation due to haemorrhage after pancreatoduodenectomy. The other 5 cases were referred elsewhere after initial treatment, and all of them underwent some kind of external drainage. Three had undetected MPD injury, and in the other 2 cases the parenchymal lesions were either underestimated or missed. All of these cases required subsequent resection (1), internal drainage due to fistula (2), or drainage of developed abscess (2). Three of them had severe septic and pulmonary complications; 1 patient with MPD injury was lost to follow-up. Conclusion: Patients requiring delayed surgical intervention after an unsuccessful period of observation or a subsequent operation due to undected MPD injury demonstrated a higher rate of pancreas-specific mortality and morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-412
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 24 2003


  • Distal transection
  • Ductal injury
  • Pancreatic rupture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology

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