Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp 1354–1361 | Cite as

Comprehensive Analysis of Variables Affecting Delayed Gastric Emptying Following Pancreaticoduodenectomy

  • John W. Kunstman
  • Annabelle L. Fonseca
  • Maria M. Ciarleglio
  • Xiangyu Cong
  • Abby Hochberg
  • Ronald R. Salem
Original Article



Delayed gastric emptying (DGE) occurs commonly following pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD), and criteria for its clinical diagnosis have recently been standardized by an international consensus group. We evaluated 24 operative and peri-operative variables to assess which were independent risk factors for DGE development. Secondarily, we also examined DGE incidence over time and evaluated the consensus guidelines’ ability to diagnose DGE in patients with complicated post-operative courses.


A prospective, single-surgeon database of 235 patients undergoing PD at an academic tertiary center was retrospectively reviewed and DGE was assessed per published guidelines.


DGE occurred in 42 patients overall (17.9 %), with incidence falling from 30.0 to 9.1 % during the study period. Post-operative abscess, pancreatic fistula formation, pulmonary comorbidity, and increased intraoperative blood loss were found to be independent risk factors (p < 0.05) for DGE on multivariate analysis. Changes in operative technique, such as pylorus preservation, did not associate with DGE. In a separate analysis, when patients with confounding post-operative events such as re-intubation or re-laparotomy were excluded, DGE incidence was 11.9 %.


Perturbation of the operative bed by a secondary complication seems to be the dominant risk for DGE development. The consensus guidelines for DGE diagnosis, while indispensable, may overestimate DGE incidence.


Pancreaticoduodenectomy Delayed gastric emptying ISGPS 



We wish to thank Janis Sandlin, PA-C for her contributions to data collection. Drs. Ciarleglio, Cong, and Kunstman had access to all of the data in the study and carry responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Kunstman
    • 1
  • Annabelle L. Fonseca
    • 1
  • Maria M. Ciarleglio
    • 2
  • Xiangyu Cong
    • 2
  • Abby Hochberg
    • 3
  • Ronald R. Salem
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Surgical Oncology, Department of SurgeryYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Yale Center for Analytical SciencesYale University School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Drexel University College of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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