Bleeding pseudocysts and pseudoaneurysms in chronic pancreatitis

Original article


El Hamel A, Parc R, Adda G, Bouteloup PY, Huguet C, Malafosse M.

Centre de Chirurgie Digestive, Hopital Saint-Antoine, Paris, France.

Br J Surg. 1991 Sep;78(9):1059-63.


Spontaneous haemorrhage associated with chronic pancreatitis in 17 patients was related to a pseudocyst in 15 (88 per cent) patients and to pancreatic lithiasis (one patient) or to infarction-rupture of the spleen (one patient). Bleeding was massive in six patients and intermittent in 11. It resulted from erosion of the gastroduodenal or the splenic artery in four patients. Bleeding into the pancreatic duct occurred in four patients and erosion of the duodenum by a bleeding pseudocyst in five. Haemorrhage was confined to a pseudocyst in six patients and was intraperitoneal in two. Of the 15 patients with bleeding pseudocysts, ten underwent primary pancreatic resection (eight proximal and two distal pancreatectomies) with no mortality but four had early complications. Four of the five patients who underwent transcystic ligation of bleeding vessels and pseudocyst drainage had postoperative complications: one died from sepsis and liver failure and three underwent reoperation for severe postoperative bleeding. Of these, two had proximal pancreatic resection with one death. The third patient had further suture ligation and external drainage. The overall postoperative mortality rate was 12 per cent and following emergency surgery 33 per cent. Favourable results were achieved in two-thirds of patients when the primary operative strategy could be directed towards the control of bleeding and removal of the affected pancreatic segment. Primary pancreatic resection, although technically demanding in the presence of haemorrhage, is recommended whenever possible for the treatment of bleeding pancreatic pseudocysts and pseudoaneurysms associated with chronic pancreatitis.

Keywords: Bleeding pseudocysts and pseudoaneurysms in chronic pancreatitis