Delayed gastric emptying (DGE) is a common complication after pancreatoduodenectomy associated with a low complication burden but a prolonged hospital stay. The present study aimed to characterize DGE, with a particular focus on its subtypes and related predictors.
A 2-center retrospective analysis was performed including consecutive pancreatoduodenectomy over 5 years. Primary delayed gastric emptying (pDGE) and secondary delayed gastric emptying (sDGE) were defined according to the presence of concomitant causing factors. Predictors of DGE, pDGE and sDGE were assessed through logistic regression.
Out of 1,170 patients considered, 188 developed delayed gastric emptying (16.1%). Most DGE (71.8%) were secondary. sDGE resolved later (P = .007), with hospital stay, duration of total parenteral nutrition, and of enteral nutrition being longer than for pDGE (all P < .005). Smoking status, total operative time, indication for surgery other than pancreatic cancer, estimated blood loss, and soft pancreatic texture were independent predictors of DGE. In the subgroup analysis of pDGE, smoking was the only independent predictor, whereas pylorus-preservation was a protective factor. Smoking, indication for surgery, estimated blood loss, soft gland texture, and main pancreatic duct diameter were independent predictors of sDGE.
DGE after pancreatoduodenectomy consists of 2 different subtypes. The primary form resolves earlier, and its occurrence might be reduced by pylorus preservation. For the secondary form, clinicians should focus on preventing and treating other trigger complications. The diagnosis of the DGE subtype has critical therapeutic implications and paves the way for further systematic studies.

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