Effect of preoperative biliary stent on postoperative complications after pancreaticoduodenectomy for cancer: Neoadjuvant versus upfront treatment

Published:October 14, 2022DOI:



      Limited data are available regarding the effect of preoperative biliary stent, during long-course neoadjuvant chemotherapy, on postoperative complications. The aim of the study is to analyze whether the association of neoadjuvant chemotherapy and biliary stent increases overall and infectious complications after pancreaticoduodenectomy.


      Data for 538 consecutive pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma patients who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy between 2015 and 2020 were retrospectively analyzed. Four groups of patients were identified: neoadjuvant chemotherapy + biliary stent (171 patients), neoadjuvant chemotherapy–no biliary stent (65 patients), upfront surgery + biliary stent (184 patients), and upfront surgery–no biliary stent (118 patients). Median neoadjuvant chemotherapy duration was 6 months. The main outcome of the study was the occurrence of postoperative infections.


      No differences among the 4 groups were observed for pancreaticoduodenectomy-specific complications (ie, POPF, DGE, PPH). Infectious complications, in particular surgical site infections, were more frequent in neoadjuvant chemotherapy + biliary stent group (P = 0.001). At multivariate analysis, biliary stent was significantly associated with postoperative infectious complications in the overall cohort (odds ratio 1.996, confidence interval 95% 1.29–3.09, P = .002) and in neoadjuvant chemotherapy patients (odds ratio 5.974, 95% confidence interval 2.52–14.13, P < .001). Biliary stent significantly increased the comprehensive complication index by 9.5% (95% confidence interval 0.04–0.64, P = 0.024) in the overall cohort and 18.9% (95% confidence interval 0.22–1.23, P = .005) in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group. The presence of multidrug-resistant microorganisms in intraoperative bile culture was not influenced by long-course neoadjuvant chemotherapy.


      In neoadjuvant chemotherapy patients, biliary stent increased the occurrence of postoperative infectious complications and surgical site infections, while the incidence of multidrug-resistant bacteria in intraoperative bile culture was similar between groups.
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