Role of preoperative biliary stents, bile contamination and antibiotic prophylaxis in surgical site infections after pancreaticoduodenectomy

Francesca Gavazzi, Cristina Ridolfi, Giovanni Capretti, Maria Rachele Angiolini, Paola Morelli, Erminia Casari, Marco Montorsi, Alessandro Zerbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The routine use of preoperative biliary drainage before pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) remains controversial. This observational retrospective study compared stented and non-stented patients undergoing PD to assess any differences in post-operative morbidity and mortality. Methods: A total of 180 consecutive patients who underwent PD and had intra-operative bile cultures performed between January 2010 and February 2013 were retrospectively identified. All patients received peri-operative intravenous antibiotic prophylaxis, primarily cefazolin. Results: Overall incidence of post-operative surgical complications was 52.3 %, with no difference between stented and non-stented patients (53.4 % vs. 51.1 %; p = 0.875). However, stented patients had a significantly higher incidence of deep incisional surgical site infections (SSIs) (p = 0.038). In multivariate analysis, biliary stenting was confirmed as a risk factor for deep incisional SSIs (p = 0.044). Significant associations were also observed for cardiac disease (p = 0.010) and BMI ≥25 kg/m2 (p = 0.045). Enterococcus spp. were the most frequent bacterial isolates in bile (74.5 %) and in drain fluid (69.1 %). In antimicrobial susceptibilty testing, all Enterococci isolates were cefazolin-resistant. Conclusion: Given the increased risk of deep incisional SSIs, preoperative biliary stenting in patients underging PD should be used only in selected patients. In stented patients, an antibiotic with anti-enterococcal activity should be chosen for PD prophylaxis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number43
JournalBMC Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 31 2016


  • Enterococcus spp
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • Stent
  • Surgical site infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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