OBJECTIVES: Walled-off necrosis (WON) is a serious complication to necrotizing acute pancreatitis with a high morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term changes in pancreatic function, metabolic function and body composition in patients with WON.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Observational study including patients with WON who underwent endoscopic transmural drainage and necrosectomy. Patients were prospectively evaluated at baseline, 3-6 months after discharge, and 12 months after discharge. Patients were characterized with fecal elastase, blood samples, computer tomography, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and Lundh's test.
RESULTS: The study includes 17 patients (11 men) with WON. The etiologies were gallstones (53%) alcohol intake (35%) and 12% had an unknown etiology. The body mass index (BMI) dropped during baseline and 3 months after discharge (p = .03) and increased 12 months after discharge (p = .002). Twelve months after discharge, 29% had mild exocrine insufficiency, 7% moderate insufficiency and 50% severe insufficiency based on the Lundh's test. Fecal elastase was <100 μg/g in 35% and <200 μg/g in 59% 12 months after discharge. Only, 24% required pancreatic enzyme substitution. Endocrine insufficiency developed in 24%. These patients also had exocrine insufficiency.
CONCLUSIONS: A considerable proportion of patients with WON experience both endocrine and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency suggesting that long-term follow-up is needed in order to ensure adequate treatment.