Background: Cirrhosis increases the risk of perioperative mortality in gastrointestinal surgery. Though cirrhosis is sometimes considered a contraindication to pancreatoduodenectomy (PD), few data are available in this patient population. The aim of the present study is to identify predictors of outcome in cirrhotic patients undergoing PD. Methods: Patients undergoing PD with biopsy-proved cirrhosis were evaluated. Primary endpoints were morbidity and mortality. Child score, MELD score, and radiographic evidence of portal hypertension (pHTN) were assessed for accuracy in preoperative risk stratification. A systematic review of the literature with meta-analysis was also performed to query morbidity and mortality of patients with cirrhosis reported to undergo PD. Results: Between 2005 and 2015, 36 cirrhotic patients underwent PD; three year follow-up was complete. Median Child score was 6 (range 5–10); median MELD score was 9 (range 7–18). Perioperative (90-day) mortality was 6/36. Median survival was 37 months (range 0.2–116). MELD ≥ 10 was associated with increased mortality (4/13 vs. 2/13, p = 0.004). Irrespective of Child or MELD score, those with pHTN had poor outcomes including significantly greater intraoperative blood loss, increased incidence of major complication, and length of stay. Postoperative mortality was significantly higher with pHTN (3/16 vs. 1/13, p = 0.012). Conclusion: Pancreatoduodenectomy may be considered in carefully selected cirrhotic patients. MELD ≥ 10 predicts increased risk of postoperative mortality. Specific attention should be afforded to patients with preoperative radiographic evidence of portal hypertension as this group experiences poor outcomes irrespective of MELD or Child score.
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