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World J Clin Cases. 2021 Sep 6;9(25):7340-7349. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v9.i25.7340.
BACKGROUND: Pancreatic neoplasms are uncommon in children and in most cases they are benign or have low malignant potential. Pancreatoblastoma and solid pseudopapillary tumor are the most frequent types in early and late childhood, respectively. Complete resection, although burdened by severe complications, is the only curative treatment for these diseases. Pancreatic surgery may result in impaired exocrine and endocrine pancreatic function. However, limited data are available on the long-term pediatric pancreatic function following surgical resection.
AIM: To investigate endocrine and exocrine pancreatic function and growth after oncological pancreatic surgery in a pediatric series.
METHODS: A retrospective analysis of all pediatric patients who underwent surgery for pancreatic neoplasm in our Institution from January 31, 2002 to the present was performed. Endocrine and exocrine insufficiency, auxological and fat-soluble vitamin status (A, D, E and clotting tests) were assessed at diagnosis and at every follow-up visit. Exocrine insufficiency was defined as steatorrhea with fecal elastase-1 < 200 µg/g stool, while endocrine insufficiency was identified as onset of Diabetes or Impaired Glucose Tolerance. Growth was evaluated based on body mass index (BMI) z-score trend.
RESULTS: Sixteen patients (12 girls and 4 boys, mean age 10.7 ± 5.3 years), were included. Nine patients (56%) had a neoplasm in the pancreatic head, 4 in the body/tail, 2 in the tail and 1 in the body. Histological findings were as follows: Solid pseudopapillary tumor in 10 patients (62.5%), insulinoma in 2 patients, neuroendocrine tumor in 2 patients and acinar cell carcinoma in 2 patients. The most frequent surgery was pancreaticoduodenectomy (50%). Exocrine failure occurred in 4 patients (25%) and endocrine failure in 2 patients (12.5%). Exocrine insufficiency occurred early (within 6 mo after surgery) and endocrine insufficiency later (8 and 10 years after surgery). Mean BMI z-score was 0.36 ± 1.1 at diagnosis and 0.27 ± 0.95 at the last assessment. Vitamin D was insufficient (< 30 ng/mL) in 8 of the 16 patients during the follow-up period. Vitamins A, E and clotting test were into the normal ranges in all patients.
CONCLUSION: Careful and long-term monitoring should follow any pancreatic surgery, to recognize and promptly treat exocrine and endocrine pancreatic insufficiency, which can occur after surgery.