Purpose: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma has the highest incidence between the ages of 60 and 70 years. As the elderly population has been increasing in the last several decades, the proportion of patients older than 70 years of age with resectable pancreatic cancer is expected to increase in our society. This retrospective observation was performed to evaluate surgical value of pancreaticoduodenectomy for the elderly patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Materials and Methods: From January 1990 to June 2005, among the patients who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, the elder patients older than 70 years of age were retrospectively reviewed. Perioperative surgical outcomes, including general clinicopathologic features, morbidity, mortality, and survival outcomes, were investigated based on available medical records. Results: Seventy-seven patients underwent pancreaticoduodenenctomy (PD) for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Among them, 11 patients (14.3%) were 70 years older. More frequent incidences of morbidity (8 out of 11 vs. 25 out of 65, p = 0.049), especially delayed gastric emptying (3 out of 8 vs. 3 out of 66, p = 0.035), were observed and overall length of hospital stay was also longer in the elderly (49.2 ± 13.9 days vs. 36.1 ± 13.2, p = 0.012). However, no significant differences in mortality rate and survival outcomes were noted when comparing with those of the younger patients (p > 0.05). Conclusion: We agree with the opinion that age factor can not be absolute contraindication for pancreaticoduodenectomy, however, appropriate preoperative evaluations, proper patient selection considering life expectancy, advanced surgical techniques and detailed perioperative management are mandatory to guarantee the safety of pancreaticoduodenectomy performed in the elderly with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
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