CBD indicates common bile duct; CPT, Current Procedural Terminology; ERCP, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography; GSP, gallstone pancreatitis; ICD-9, International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision; IOC, intraoperative cholangiography; and NSQIP, National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.
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Dubina ED, de Virgilio C, Simms ER, Kim DY, Moazzez A. Association of Early vs Delayed Cholecystectomy for Mild Gallstone Pancreatitis With Perioperative Outcomes. JAMA Surg. 2018;153(11):1057–1059. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.2614
Gallstones are the most common cause of acute pancreatitis in the United States.1-5 The timing of cholecystectomy among patients with mild gallstone pancreatitis (GSP) remains controversial.1-6 Many institutions delay laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) for mild GSP until normalization of laboratory values and resolution of abdominal pain, fearing early surgery may increase complications.1,3-5
Recent studies have shown that early LC (within 48 hours of hospital admission) results in a shorter length of stay (LOS); however, those studies were not statistically powered to detect differences in morbidity.4,5 We hypothesized that compared with delayed LC, early LC among patients with mild GSP would be associated with decreased LOS and with no difference in adverse outcomes.
Adult patients with acute pancreatitis undergoing same-admission cholecystectomy were identified through review of the 2011 to 2014 American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database. Patients with additional nonbiliary procedures and severe pancreatitis, defined as preoperative evidence of end-organ dysfunction, were excluded. The remaining patients were then separated into early (<48 hours of hospital admission) vs delayed (≥48 hours of hospital admission) LC groups (Figure). The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA approved this study and waived the need for informed patient consent.
Primary outcome measures were morbidity (presence of any NSQIP-defined postoperative complication) and mortality. Secondary outcomes included LOS, operative time, reoperation, concurrent biliary interventions (including common bile duct exploration, intraoperative cholangiogram, or intraoperative endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography), and 30-day readmissions.
The t test was used to compare continuous data, and Pearson χ2 and Fisher exact tests were used to compare categorical data. Any variable with P < .10 following bivariate analysis was included in a multivariate regression analysis. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS, version 24.0 (IBM Corp), and 2-sided P < .05 was considered statistically significant.
We identified 1937 patients for inclusion in the study, of whom 824 (42.5%) underwent early LC. A comparison of patient demographics is given in the Table.
The results of bivariate analyses indicated no statistically significant difference in mortality between the early and delayed LC groups (odds ratio [OR], 0.54; 95% CI, 0.10-2.79; P = .71); however, morbidity was lower for the early group (OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.33-0.85; P = .008). The early group had more laparoscopically completed procedures (OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.03-2.37; P = .04) and concurrent biliary interventions (OR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.41-2.03; P < .001) in addition to a shorter mean (SD) operative time (70.1 [39.8] vs 78 [43.2] minutes; P < .001), a shorter mean (SD) total LOS (3.3 [3.7] vs 7.1 [5.4] days; P < .001), and fewer reoperations (OR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.15-0.91; P = .02). By contrast, 30-day readmissions were not different for early and delayed LC (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.49-1.11; P = .15) (Table).
The multivariate regression analysis results showed that early LC was independently associated with reduced LOS (β, −3.44 days; P < .001) and operative time (β, −8.48 minutes; P < .001) but was not independently associated with morbidity (OR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.40-1.13; P = .13) or reoperation (OR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.18-1.15; P = .09).
Using the large, multicenter NSQIP database, our study found that early LC was associated with decreased LOS and operative time, with no significant increase in morbidity, mortality, or reoperation compared with delayed LC.
Prior studies have supported early LC for treatment of mild GSP based on decreased LOS, including a single-institution observational study4 (decreased LOS from 7 days to 4 days, P < .001) and a randomized prospective study5 (decreased LOS from 4 days to 3 days, P = .002).4-6 These prior studies were criticized, however, for being underpowered to detect differences in clinical outcomes. The LOS in our study was 4 days fewer in the early LC group than in the delayed LC group, and we observed no increased morbidity or mortality in the early LC group compared with the delayed LC group.
The limitations of the present study included the retrospective study design, with limited data available in the NSQIP database, and the inability to calculate a Ranson score. Thus, severe pancreatitis was inferred based on evidence of organ dysfunction. Despite these limitations, the results of this study add further support to the notion that early LC (<48 hours) among patients with mild GSP appears safe and therefore may be the preferred approach, with the understanding that early LC may be associated with more concurrent intraoperative biliary interventions.
Corresponding Author: Ashkan Moazzez, MD, MPH, Department of Surgery, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, 1000 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90502 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Accepted for Publication: May 8, 2018.
Published Online: August 15, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.2614
Author Contributions: Dr Moazzez had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: All authors.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Dubina, de Virgilio, Moazzez.
Drafting of the manuscript: Dubina, de Virgilio, Kim.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: de Virgilio, Simms, Kim, Moazzez.
Statistical analysis: Moazzez.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Moazzez.
Supervision: de Virgilio, Simms, Kim, Moazzez.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Simms reported having a commercial interest in Nikola Tech LLC, which develops prototypes of surgical instruments; however, no instruments are currently being used on human patients or in patient care. No other disclosures were reported.
Disclaimer: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program and the hospitals participating in this program are the sources of the data used herein; they have not verified and are not responsible for the statistical validity of the data analysis or the conclusions derived by the authors.
Meeting Presentation: This paper was presented at the 89th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Coast Surgical Association; February 17, 2018; Napa, California.