Objective . The management of pancreatic pseudocysts varies, based mainly on local traditions, resources and expertise. No prospective, randomized study has been done comparing different approaches to treatment. The aim of the present study was to identify current treatment strategies in Sweden. Material and methods. A questionnaire comprising 12 questions was e-mailed to the surgical departments of all hospitals (n=58) treating patients with pancreatitis. Comparisons were made between university and non-university hospitals and between hospitals with 150 000 or more persons versus less in the primary catchment area. Results. Fifty-one hospitals responded (88%). In median, 4 (0-25) patients were treated yearly due to pancreatic pseudocysts at each hospital. Five hospitals had written guidelines. Multidisciplinary team conferences were held at 36/48 centres. Treatment strategies for acute compared to chronic pancreatitis associated pseudocysts differed significantly depending on the underlying diagnosis in the major hospitals (p=0.005). Overall, 21/49 hospitals refer some of these patients and 15/50 of the departments state that they regularly assist in taking care of patients with pancreatic pseudocysts from other hospitals. The chosen treatment modalities vary widely, above all concerning endoscopic drainage, which is more common for symptomatic non-infected pseudocysts (p=0.005) as well as infected pseudocysts (p=0.004) in university hospitals. Conclusions . The lack of protocols and management strategies for pancreatic pseudocysts is reflected by the heterogeneity in treatment strategies, as seen in the present survey. Therefore patients may be at risk of receiving suboptimal treatment. A tailored therapeutic approach that takes into consideration patient preferences and involves a multidisciplinary team should be considered in all cases.
- Gastroenterology and Hepatology