Adenocarcinoma is a type of cancer that results in the development of mucus-producing glandular cells of the body. In patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PA), pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) is performed to remove the head of the pancreas. However, the postoperative morbidity associated with PD after PA is around 70%. This study aims to evaluate the symptoms and factors associated with PD for PA.

This population-based cohort study included a total of 615 patients undergoing PD for PA. The Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS) scores of the patients were collected, along with baseline and treatment characteristics. The primary outcome of this study was moderate to severe symptoms (ESAS score ≥ 4), including anxiety, drowsiness, depression, nausea, tiredness, pain, shortness of breath, and impaired well-being.

Of 615 patients who underwent PD for PA, the most commonly reported symptoms were tiredness (72%), impaired well-being (68%), and lack of appetite (65%). The severity of adverse symptoms was higher immediately after surgery and decreased over time and stabilized at around 3 months. A higher risk of moderate to severe symptoms was associated with female sex, lower income, and higher comorbidity.

The research concluded that PD after PA was associated with a high prevalence of symptoms immediately after surgery. The severity of symptoms reduced overtime and stabilized at around 3 months.