Late postpancreatectomy hemorrhage from the gastroduodenal artery stump into an insufficient hepaticojejunostomy: a case report

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Background: Mortality after elective pancreatic surgery in modern high-volume centers is very low. Morbidity remains high, affecting 20–40% of patients. Late postpancreatectomy hemorrhage is a rare but potentially lethal complication. The exceptionality in our case lies in the underlying mechanism of its clinical presentation. It is a demonstration of the difficulties associated with finding the source of bleeding in late postpancreatectomy hemorrhage. Case presentation: An 82-year-old White female was diagnosed with a periampullary malignancy and underwent pancreatoduodenectomy. Postoperatively, the patient suffered from an anastomotic leak in the hepaticojejunostomy, which was treated with percutaneous pigtail drains in the abdomen and in the biliary tract. On the fourth postoperative week she presented blood in both drains and in her stool. Given our knowledge about the biliary anastomotic leak, this presentation led us to suspect an intraluminal source (biliary tract or gastrojejunostomy) with blood leaking through the insufficient hepaticojejunostomy into the abdominal cavity. Upper tract endoscopy and computed tomography angiography were, however, unremarkable. Further investigation with conventional angiography identified the bleeding source at the gastroduodenal artery stump, which was successfully coiled. Hence, the gastroduodenal artery stump was bleeding into the insufficient hepaticojejunostomy, filling up the biliary tree and the small intestine. After coiling of the artery, the remainder of the postoperative care was uneventful. Conclusion: Postpancreatectomy hemorrhage presents a major clinical challenge after pancreatoduodenectomy, with significant morbidity and high risk for mortality. The treating physician must be alert and active in the investigation and treatment of the bleeding source to ensure a successful outcome.


External organisations
  • Ystad Hospital
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Surgery


  • Case report, Gastroduodenal artery, Morbidity, Pancreatoduodenectomy, Postpancreatectomy hemorrhage
Original languageEnglish
Article number245
JournalJournal of Medical Case Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication categoryResearch