Background: Until now, there is no study comparing quality of life (QoL) of classical Whipple pancreatico duodenectomy (PD) with duodenum preserving pancreatic head resection (DPPHR) in patients with chronic pancreatitis (cP) using a standardized, valid, and reliable questionnaire.
Methods: Between January 1995 and November 2000 65 patients with cP were treated surgically either by DP (n=31) or DPPHR (n=34). The QoL was self-assessed by the patients using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) questionnaire. It comprises symptom and function scales and was validated for patients with cP. The QoL was measured preoperatively, 13, and 30 months after surgery. Endocrine function was assessed by the need to treat diabetes mellitus.
Results: Preoperatively there was no significant difference between the two groups with regard to age, etiology, endocrine function, pain intensity and duration, pathomorphologic changes, and body mass index. Before surgery no significant difference in QoL was seen between the two groups. During the first follow up (13 months) the symptom and function scales improved significantly in both groups (p<0.05), however, the DPPHR group showed significantly better results than the DP group (p<0.05). During the second follow up (30 months) both groups showed a stable QoL level with significant better results in the DPPHR group (p<0.05). There was a significant higher rate of glucose metabolism deterioration in the PD group.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the superiority of DPPHR vs PD with regard to quality of life and glucose metabolism.