Purpose: Postoperative pancreatic fistula (PPF) sometimes occurs after gastrectomy. We examined the risk factors for severe PPF and evaluated the predictive value of amylase concentration in drainage fluid. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 591 patients who underwent curative gastrectomy for gastric cancer. A multivariate analysis was conducted to identify the risk factors for severe PPF. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to identify the appropriate amylase cut-off value to predict severe PPF. Results: Severe PPF occurred in 23 (3.9%) cases. The multivariate analysis indicated that splenectomy (P = 0.009) was the only significant risk factor. The area under the curve of amylase in drainage fluid for predicting severe PPF on postoperative day (POD) 3 was much greater than that on POD 1 (0.972 vs. 0.894). When the cut-off values for amylase were determined to be 2900 U/L on POD 1 and 2100 U/L on POD 3, the risk ratio for severe PPF on POD 3 was higher than that on POD 1 (99.2 vs. 30.2). Conclusions: Splenectomy was an independent risk factor for severe PPF. An amylase level of 2100 U/L on POD 3 may be a reliable cut-off value for the early diagnosis of patients at high risk of severe PPF.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes