Surgical pancreatic complications induced by L-asparaginase.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Pancreatitis has been noted to be a potential complication in 2% to 16% of patients undergoing treatment with L-asparaginase for a variety of pediatric neoplasms, but rarely has surgical intervention been necessary. The authors present two fulminant cases of L-asparaginase-induced pancreatitis and review the current literature. The first patient is a 15-year-old boy who underwent induction chemotherapy with L-asparaginase for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with bone marrow involvement. He presented with diffuse patchy necrosis of the pancreas as well as a large infected pancreatic pseudocyst. He subsequently required operative debridement of the pancreas and external drainage of the pseudocyst. He is currently doing well. The second patient is a 5-year-old boy who was treated with L-asparaginase for a diagnosis of acute lymphocytic leukemia. Within 3 weeks of initiation of therapy, fulminant pancreatitis developed, which progressed to multisystem organ failure. Computed tomography scan demonstrated extensive pancreatic necrosis involving 90% of the gland. He underwent surgical debridement of his necrotic pancreas and wide drainage of the lesser sac. Postoperatively he improved but subsequently multiple complications developed including erosion of his gastroduodenal artery with significant intraabdominal bleeding, which was controlled with angiographic embolization. Subsequently erosion of his endotracheal tube into the innominate vein developed, and he died. L-asparaginase-induced pancreatitis has been described after therapy for various pediatric neoplasms, and the reported cases have usually been self-limiting. However, our cases demonstrate potentially fatal sequelae of this complication and mandate early diagnosis with appropriate surgical intervention in this setting.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sadoff, J; Hwang, S; Rosenfeld, D; Ettinger, L; Spigland, N

Published Date

  • June 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 32 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 860 - 863

PubMed ID

  • 9200086

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3468

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0022-3468(97)90636-9


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States