Imaging of post-operative pancreas and complications after pancreatic adenocarcinoma resection.
Abdom Radiol (NY). 2018 Feb;43(2):476-488. doi: 10.1007/s00261-017-1378-y. Hafezi-Nejad N1, Fishman EK1, Zaheer A2,3,4.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths. With surgical resection being the only definitive treatment, improvements in technique has led to an increase in number of candidates undergoing resection by inclusion of borderline resectable disease patients to the clearly resectable group. Post-operative complications associated with pancreaticoduodenectomy and distal pancreatectomy include delayed gastric emptying, anastomotic failures, fistula formation, strictures, abscess, infarction, etc. The utility of dual-phase CT with multiplanar reconstruction and 3D rendering is increasingly recognized as a tool for the assessment of complications associated with vascular resection and reconstruction such as hemorrhage, pseudoaneurysm, vascular thrombosis, and ischemia. Prompt recognition of the complications and distinction from benign post-operative findings such as hepatic steatosis and mesenteric fat necrosis on imaging plays a key role in helping decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with surgery. We discuss, with case examples, some of such common and uncommon findings on imaging to familiarize the abdominal radiologists evaluating post-operative imaging in both acute and chronic post-operative settings.