BackgroundMost clinical studies suggest that the incidence of duodenal obstruction is 10-30%. Clinical experience at OUS-Ullevål indicates that the incidence may be lower. Duodenal obstruction is a late complication of pancreatic cancer, and these patients experience pain, jaundice, weight loss, nausea and vomiting. Palliation of symptoms and increased quality of life (QoL) are the primary aims of treatment. There are very few studies that explore improvement of QoL among this group of patients.
ObjectivesThe objectives of this research are to find the incidence of duodenal obstruction at OUS-Ullevål and investigate the quality of life.
Design and methodThis is a retrospective study. We used the journals of the patients and the database for the pancreatic project at OUS-Ullevål.
PatientsThe patients included in this study are all patients admitted to OUS-Ullevål for investigation of a tumor in the pancreas between the July 1th and September 30th 2009.
Results36 patients were included in the study. There were 18 men and 18 women. 24 of the patients had pancreatic cancer, 7 had cystic lesions and 5 had other malignancy. The incidence of duodenal obstruction among the patients with pancreatic cancer was 13%. 27 % of the patients with non-resectable pancreatic cancer had this condition. This is the most clinical relevant result, and this may indicate that duodenal obstruction is a relatively common complication of pancreatic cancer.
The 7 patients with cystic lesions were used as a control group in the study regarding quality of life. The study on quality of life demonstrated no significant differences between the patients with duodenal obstruction and the control group.
LimitationsThe patient group was small, and the database was insufficient. 54% of the patients underwent curative surgery, which is many more than expected.
Conclusions The incidence of duodenal obstruction at OUS-Ullevål is 13%, which is in accordance with earlier studies. The study on quality of life was inconclusive.