BACKGROUND: Solid pseudopapillary pancreatic tumors (SPPT) are an extremely rare entity in pediatric patients. Even if the role of radical surgical resection as primary treatment is well established, data about follow-up after pancreatic resection in children are scant.
METHODS: A retrospective review of data from the Italian Pediatric Rare Tumor Registry (TREP) was performed. Short-term (<30 days) and long-term complications of different surgical resections, as well as long-term follow-up were evaluated.
RESULTS: From January 2000 to present, 43 patients (male:female = 8:35) were enrolled. The median age at diagnosis was 13.2 years (range, 7-18). Nine children had an incidental diagnosis, whereas 26 complained of abdominal pain and 4 of palpable mass. Tumors arose either from the head of pancreas (n = 14) or from body/tail (n = 29): only one patient presented with metastatic disease. Resection was complete in all patients (cephalic duodenopancreatectomy vs distal resection). At follow-up (median, 8.4 years; range, 0-17 years), one recurrence occurred in a patient with intraoperative rupture. All patients are alive. Three pancreatic fistulas occurred in the body/tail group, whereas four complications occurred in the head group (one ileal ischemia, two stenosis of the pancreatic duct, and one chylous fistula).
CONCLUSION: Surgery is the best therapeutic option for these tumors; hence, complete resection is mandatory. Extensive resections, including cephalic duodenopancreatectomy, are safe when performed in specialized centers. Long-term follow-up should be aimed to detect tumor recurrence and to evaluate residual pancreatic function.