Background: Delayed gastric emptying (DGE) represents the most frequent complication after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD). Aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of gastrojejunostomy (GJ)orientation on DGE incidence after PD. Methods: One-hundred and twenty-one consecutive PDs were included in the analysis and divided in the horizontal (H-GJ group) and vertical GJ anastomosis groups (V-GJ group). Postoperative data and the value of the flow angle between the efferent jejunal limb and the stomach of the GJ anastomosis at the upper gastrointestinal series were registered. Results: Seventy-five patients (62%)underwent H-GJ, while 46 patients (38%)underwent V-GJ. The incidence of DGE was significantly lower in the V-GJ group as compared to the H-GJ group (23.9%vs45.3%; p = 0.02). V-GJ was also associated to a less severe DGE manifestation (p = 0.006). The flow angle was significantly lower in case of V-GJ as compared to H-GJ (24.5°vs37°; p = 0.002). At the multivariate analysis, ASA score≥3 (p = 0.02), H-GJ (p = 0.03), flow angle>30°(p = 0.004) and Clavien-Dindo≥3 (p = 0.03) were recognized as independent prognostic factors for DGE. These same factors were independent prognostic features also for a more severe DGE manifestation. Conclusion: VGJ and the more acute flow angle appear to be associated to a lower incidence rate and severity of DGE. This modified technique should be considered by surgeons in order to reduce postoperative DGE occurrence.
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