Prophylactic abdominal drainage or no drainage after distal pancreatectomy (PANDORINA): a binational multicenter randomized controlled trial

F. L. Vissers, A. Balduzzi, the Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Group, E. A. van Bodegraven*, J. van Hilst, S. Festen, M. Abu Hilal, H. J. Asbun, J. S.D. Mieog, B. Groot Koerkamp, O. R. Busch, F. Daams, M. Luyer, M. De Pastena, G. Malleo, G. Marchegiani, J. Klaase, I. Q. Molenaar, R. Salvia, H. C. van SantvoortM. Stommel, D. Lips, M. Coolsen, C. Bassi, C. van Eijck, M. G. Besselink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BACKGROUND: Prophylactic abdominal drainage is current standard practice after distal pancreatectomy (DP), with the aim to divert pancreatic fluid in case of a postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) aimed to prevent further complications as bleeding. Whereas POPF after pancreatoduodenectomy, by definition, involves infection due to anastomotic dehiscence, a POPF after DP is essentially sterile since the bowel is not opened and no anastomoses are created. Routine drainage after DP could potentially be omitted and this could even be beneficial because of the hypothetical prevention of drain-induced infections (Fisher, Surgery 52:205-22, 2018). Abdominal drainage, moreover, should only be performed if it provides additional safety or comfort to the patient. In clinical practice, drains cause clear discomfort. One multicenter randomized controlled trial confirmed the safety of omitting abdominal drainage but did not stratify patients according to their risk of POPF and did not describe a standardized strategy for pancreatic transection. Therefore, a large pragmatic multicenter randomized controlled trial is required, with prespecified POPF risk groups and a homogeneous method of stump closure. The objective of the PANDORINA trial is to evaluate the non-inferiority of omitting routine intra-abdominal drainage after DP on postoperative morbidity (Clavien-Dindo score ≥ 3), and, secondarily, POPF grade B/C. METHODS/DESIGN: Binational multicenter randomized controlled non-inferiority trial, stratifying patients to high and low risk for POPF grade B/C and incorporating a standardized strategy for pancreatic transection. Two groups of 141 patients (282 in total) undergoing elective DP (either open or minimally invasive, with or without splenectomy). Primary outcome is postoperative rate of morbidity (Clavien-Dindo score ≥ 3), and the most relevant secondary outcome is grade B/C POPF. Other secondary outcomes include surgical reintervention, percutaneous catheter drainage, endoscopic catheter drainage, abdominal collections (not requiring drainage), wound infection, delayed gastric emptying, postpancreatectomy hemorrhage as defined by the international study group for pancreatic surgery (ISGPS) (Wente et al., Surgery 142:20-5, 2007), length of stay (LOS), readmission within 90 days, in-hospital mortality, and 90-day mortality. DISCUSSION: PANDORINA is the first binational, multicenter, randomized controlled non-inferiority trial with the primary objective to evaluate the hypothesis that omitting prophylactic abdominal drainage after DP does not worsen the risk of postoperative severe complications (Wente etal., Surgery 142:20-5, 2007; Bassi et al., Surgery 161:584-91, 2017). Most of the published studies on drain placement after pancreatectomy focus on both pancreatoduodenectomy and DP, but these two entities present are associated with different complications and therefore deserve separate evaluation (McMillan et al., Surgery 159:1013-22, 2016; Pratt et al., J Gastrointest Surg 10:1264-78, 2006). The PANDORINA trial is innovative since it takes the preoperative risk on POPF into account based on the D-FRS and it warrants homogenous stump closing by using the same graded compression technique and same stapling device (de Pastena et al., Ann Surg 2022; Asbun and Stauffer, Surg Endosc 25:2643-9, 2011).

Original languageEnglish
Article number809
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Ethicon UK (Johnson & Johnson Medical Limited, Edinburgh, UK) financially supported the investigator-initiated PANDORINA trial. The funder had no influence on the trial’s design and will not have influence on data collection, interpretation of data, manuscript development, or the decision to publish.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022. The Author(s).

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge all surgeons who participate in the PANDORINA trial (collaborators).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


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