BACKGROUND In 2016, the International Study Group of Pancreatic Fistula (ISGPS) proposed an updated definition for postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF). Pancreas texture (PT) is an established risk factor of POPF. The definition of soft vs. hard texture, however, remains elusive.
METHODS A systematic search was performed to identify PT definitions and a meta-analysis linking POPF to PT using the updated ISGPS definition.
RESULTS 122 studies including 22 376 patients were identified. Definition criteria for PT varied among studies and most classified PT in hard and soft based on intraoperative subjective assessment. The total POPF rate (pooled grades B and C) after pancreatoduodenectomy was 14.5% (n = 10 395) and 15.5% (n = 3767) after distal pancreatectomy. In pancreatoduodenectomy, POPF rate was higher in soft compared to hard pancreas (RR, 4.4, 3.3 to 6.1; p < 0.001; n = 6393), where PT grouped as soft and hard. No data were available for intermediate PT.
CONCLUSION The reported POPF rates may be used in planning future prospective studies. A widely accepted definition of PT is lacking and a correlation with the risk of POPF is based on subjective evaluation, which is still acceptable. Classification of PT into 2-groups is more reasonable than classification into 3-groups.