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VIDEO: Endoscopy surpasses surgery for acute necrotizing pancreatitis



– An endoscopic approach to treatment of acute necrotizing pancreatitis was substantially safer than was minimally invasive surgical treatment in a randomized study of 66 patients.

Performing drainage and necrosectomy endoscopically in 34 patients with necrotizing pancreatitis that was symptomatic, infected, or both resulted in a 12% rate of major adverse events over the 3 months following intervention compared with a 38% rate among 32 similar patients who underwent laparoscopic drainage followed by either internal debridement or video-assisted retroperitoneal debridement, Ji Young Bang, MD, said at the World Congress of Gastroenterology at ACG 2017.

This statistically significant reduction in the study’s primary endpoint was driven primarily by a major reduction in the incidence of pancreaticocutaneous fistula, which occurred in none of the endoscopy patients and in eight (25%) of the surgery patients, and a smaller reduction in enterocutaneous fistula, which occurred in none of the endoscopy patients and in four (13%) of the patients treated surgically, said Dr. Bang, a gastroenterologist at the Center for Interventional Endoscopy at Florida Hospital, Orlando.

Based on these results, the endoscopic approach “is the treatment of the future,” Dr. Bang said in a video interview. Although the randomized study had a modest number of patients, it was adequately powered to address the hypothesis that endoscopy caused fewer major adverse events than did minimally invasive surgery, and hence the findings should have “an important clinical impact” on the choice of endoscopy or a minimally invasive surgical approach. But Dr. Bang also stressed that a successful endoscopic approach as obtained in this study requires treatment at a center that can offer multidisciplinary expertise from gastrointestinal endoscopists, surgeons, and radiologists, as well as infectious disease physicians, to minimize infections.

Prior to this study, results from the Pancreatitis, Endoscopic Transgastric vs Primary Necrosectomy in Patients With Infected Necrosis (PENGUIN) study run in the Netherlands had also shown significantly fewer adverse events with endoscopic treatment compared with laparoscopic surgery in 20 randomized patients (JAMA. 2012 Mar 14;307[10]:1053-61).

The study reported by Dr. Bang, the Minimally Invasive Surgery vs. Endoscopy Randomized (MISER) trial, enrolled patients with an average necrotic collection size of about 11 cm. The average age of the patients was 59 years. Nearly half of the patients had confirmed infected necrosis. More than 90% had American Society of Anesthesiologists class III or IV disease, and about half had systemic inflammatory response syndrome. All patients had disease that was amenable to both the endoscopic and minimally invasive surgical approaches.

The study’s primary endpoint included several other adverse events in addition to fistulas during 3-month follow-up: death, new-onset organ failure or multiple systemic dysfunction, visceral perforation, and intra-abdominal bleeding. The incidence of each of these outcomes was about the same in the two study arms.

The results also showed that endoscopy was significantly better than surgery for several other secondary outcomes, including new-onset systemic inflammatory response syndrome as well as the prevalence of this complication 3 days after intervention (21% compared with 66%), days in the ICU, average total procedure and hospitalization cost ($76,000 compared with $117,000), and physical quality of life 3 months after treatment. For all other measured outcomes the endoscopic approach and surgical approach produced similar outcomes, and no outcome measured showed that endoscopy was significantly inferior to surgery, Dr. Bang reported.

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