Superiority of Step-up Approach vs Open Necrosectomy in Long-term Follow-up of Patients With Necrotizing Pancreatitis

Robbert A. Hollemans, Olaf J. Bakker, Marja A. Boermeester, Thomas L. Bollen, Koop Bosscha, Marco J. Bruno, Erik Buskens, Cornelis H. Dejong, Peter van Duijvendijk, Casper H. van Eijck, Paul Fockens, Harry van Goor, Wilhelmina M. van Grevenstein, Erwin van der Harst, Joos Heisterkamp, Eric J. Hesselink, Sijbrand Hofker, Alexander P. Houdijk, Tom Karsten, Philip M. KruytCornelis J. van Laarhoven, Johan S. Lameris, Maarten S. van Leeuwen, Eric R. Manusama, I. Quintus Molenaar, Vincent B. Nieuwenhuijs, Bert van Ramshorst, Daphne Roos, Camiel Rosman, Alexander F. Schaapherder, George P. van der Schelling, Robin Timmer, Robert C. Verdonk, Ralph J. de Wit, Hein G. Gooszen, Marc G. Besselink, Hjalmar C. van Santvoort*, Dutch Pancreatitis Study Grp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND & AIMS: In a 2010 randomized trial (the PANTER trial), a surgical step-up approach for infected necrotizing pancreatitis was found to reduce the composite endpoint of death or major complications compared with open necrosectomy; 35% of patients were successfully treated with simple catheter drainage only. There is concern, however, that minimally invasive treatment increases the need for reinterventions for residual peripancreatic necrotic collections and other complications during the long term. We therefore performed a long-term follow-up study. METHODS: We reevaluated all the 73 patients (of the 88 patients randomly assigned to groups) who were still alive after the index admission, at a mean 86 months (+/- 11 months) of follow-up. We collected data on all clinical and health care resource utilization endpoints through this follow-up period. The primary endpoint was death or major complications (the same as for the PANTER trial). We also measured exocrine insufficiency, quality of life (using the Short Form-36 and EuroQol 5 dimensions forms), and Izbicki pain scores. RESULTS: From index admission to long-term follow-up, 19 patients (44%) died or had major complications in the step-up group compared with 33 patients (73%) in the open-necrosectomy group (P = .005). Significantly lower proportions of patients in the step-up group had incisional hernias (23% vs 53%; P = .004), pancreatic exocrine insufficiency (29% vs 56%; P = .03), or endocrine insufficiency (40% vs 64%; P = .05). There were no significant differences between groups in proportions of patients requiring additional drainage procedures (11% vs 13%; P = .99) or pancreatic surgery (11% vs 5%; P = .43), or in recurrent acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, Izbicki pain scores, or medical costs. Quality of life increased during follow-up without a significant difference between groups. CONCLUSIONS: In an analysis of long-term outcomes of trial participants, we found the step-up approach for necrotizing pancreatitis to be superior to open necrosectomy, without increased risk of reinterventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1016-1026
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Pancreas
  • Infected Necrosis
  • Minimally Invasive
  • Pancreatic Surgery
  • EQ-5D


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