Background: Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is a known consequence of pancreatic resection; however, its incidence following distal pancreatectomy is not well defined. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of EPI in patients undergoing distal pancreatectomy and moreover identify risk factors for developing de-novo EPI after distal pancreatectomy. Methods: A prospectively maintained institutional pancreatic resection database was interrogated to identify patients who underwent distal pancreatectomy from 2005 to 2015. Pre- and post-operative exocrine function, histopathology, demographics and volume of pancreas resected were analyzed. Results: The cohort consisted of 324 patients, 22 (6.8%) presented with EPI pre-operatively. 38 (12.6%) patients developed new onset EPI requiring pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy. There was no relationship between patient demographics or diabetes status and requirement for pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy, and no significant effect of resection volume on the need for pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy post-operatively (p ≥ 0.05). Having an underlying obstructive pancreatic pathology (p = 0.002) or a presenting history of acute pancreatitis (p < 0.001) significantly predicted development of de-novo EPI. Conclusion: These results indicate that pre-existing EPI at time of surgery is not uncommon. Patients presenting for distal pancreatectomy should be assessed pre-operatively for the need for pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy.
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