BACKGROUND: Total pancreatectomy has high morbidity and mortality and differences among countries are currently unknown. This study compared the use and postoperative outcomes of total pancreatectomy among 4 Western countries.
METHODS: Patients who underwent one-stage total pancreatectomy were included from registries in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden (2014-2018). Use of total pancreatectomy was assessed by calculating the ratio total pancreatectomy to pancreatoduodenectomy. Primary outcomes were major morbidity (Clavien Dindo ≥3) and in-hospital mortality. Predictors for the primary outcomes were assessed in multivariable logistic regression analyses. Sensitivity analysis assessed the impact of volume (low-volume <40 or high-volume ≥40 pancreatoduodenectomies annually; data available for the Netherlands and Germany).
RESULTS: In total, 1,579 patients underwent one-stage total pancreatectomy. The relative use of total pancreatectomy to pancreatoduodenectomy varied up to fivefold (United States 0.03, Germany 0.15, the Netherlands 0.03, and Sweden 0.15; P < .001). Both the indication and several baseline characteristics differed significantly among countries. Major morbidity occurred in 423 patients (26.8%) and differed (22.3%, 34.9%, 38.3%, and 15.9%, respectively; P < .001). In-hospital mortality occurred in 85 patients (5.4%) and also differed (1.8%, 10.2%, 10.8%, 1.9%, respectively; P < .001). Country, age ≥75, and vascular resection were predictors for in-hospital mortality. In-hospital mortality was lower in high-volume centers in the Netherlands (4.9% vs 23.1%; P = .002), but not in Germany (9.8% vs 10.6%; P = .733).
CONCLUSION: Considerable differences in the use of total pancreatectomy, patient characteristics, and postoperative outcome were noted among 4 Western countries with better outcomes in the United States and Sweden. These large, yet unexplained, differences require further research to ultimately improve patient outcome.