Blunt High-Grade Pancreatic Injury in Children: A 20-Year Experience in Two Pediatric Surgical Centers

Monica Goldberg-Murow*, Zvi Steiner, Yaniv Lakovsky, Elena Dlugy, Arthur Baazov, Enrique Freud, Inbal Samuk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pancreatic trauma is uncommon in pediatric patients and presents diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. While non-operative management (NOM) of minor pancreatic injuries is well accepted, the management of major pancreatic injuries remains controversial. Objectives: To evaluate management strategies for major blunt pancreatic injury in children. Methods: Data were retrospectively collected for all children treated for grade III or higher pancreatic injury due to blunt abdominal trauma from 1992 to 2015 at two medical centers. Data included demographics, mechanism of injury, laboratory and imaging studies, management strategy, clinical course, operative findings, and outcome. Results: The cohort included seven boys and four girls aged 4-15 years old (median 9). Six patients had associated abdom inal (mainly liver, n=3) injuries. The main mechanism of injury was bicycle (handlebar) trauma (n=6). Five patients had grade III injury and six had grade IV. The highest mean amylase level was recorded at 48 hours after injury (1418 U/L). Management strategies included conservative (n=5) and operative treat ment (n=6): Distal (n=3) and central (n=1) pancreatectomy, drainage only (n=2] based on the computed tomography find-ings and patient hemodynamic stability. Pseudocyst developed in all NOM patients (n=5) and two OM cases, and one patient developed a pancreatic fistula. There were no differences in average length of hospital stay. Conclusions: NOM of high-grade blunt pancreatic injury in chil dren may pose a higher risk of pseudocyst formation than OM, with a similar hospitalization time. However, pseudocyst is a relatively benign complication with a high rate of spontaneous resolution with no need for surgical intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-185
Number of pages6
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Blunt abdominal trauma
  • Children
  • Pancreas
  • Pancreatic injury
  • Pancreatic trauma


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