Long-Term Outcomes after Spleen-Preserving Distal Pancreatectomy for Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: Results from the US Neuroendocrine Study Group

Kota Sahara, Diamantis I. Tsilimigras, Amika Moro, Rittal Mehta, Mary Dillhoff, Charlotte M. Heidsma, Alexandra G. Lopez-Aguiar, Shishir K. Maithel, Flavio G. Rocha, Zaheer Kanji, Daniel E. Abbott, Alexander Fisher, Ryan C. Fields, Bradley A. Krasnick, Kamran Idrees, Paula M. Smith, George A. Poultsides, Eleftherios Makris, Clifford S. Cho, Megan BeemsItaru Endo, Timothy M. Pawlik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The adoption of spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy (SPDP) for malignant disease such as pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) has been controversial. The objective of the current study was to assess the impact of SPDP on outcomes of patients with pNETs. Methods: Patients undergoing a distal pancreatectomy for pNET between 2002 and 2016 were identified in the US Neuroendocrine Tumor Study Group database. Propensity score matching (PSM) was used to compare short-and long-term outcomes of patients undergoing SPDP versus distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy (DPS). Results: Among 621 patients, 103 patients (16.6%) underwent an SPDP. Patients who underwent SPDP were more likely to have lower BMI (median, 27.5 [IQR 24.0-31.2] vs. 28.7 [IQR 25.7-33.6]; p = 0.005) and have undergone minimally invasive surgery (n = 56, 54.4% vs. n = 185, 35.7%; p < 0.001). After PSM, while the median total number of lymph nodes examined among patients who underwent an SPDP was lower compared with DPS (3 [IQR 1-8] vs. 9 [5-13]; p < 0.001), 5-year overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) were comparable (OS: 96.8 vs. 92.0%, log-rank p = 0.21, RFS: 91.1 vs. 84.7%, log-rank p = 0.93). In addition, patients undergoing SPDP had less intraoperative blood loss (median, 100 mL [IQR 10-250] vs. 150 mL [IQR 100-400]; p = 0.001), lower incidence of serious complications (n = 13, 12.8% vs. n = 28, 27.5%; p = 0.014), and shorter length of stay (median: 5 days [IQR 4-7] vs. 6 days [IQR 5-13]; p = 0.049) compared with patients undergoing DPS. Conclusion: SPDP for pNET was associated with acceptable perioperative and long-term outcomes that were comparable to DPS. SPDP should be considered for patients with pNET.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Distal pancreatectomy
  • Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor
  • Spleen
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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