Identifying the Optimal case-volume threshold for pancreatectomy in contemporary practice

Kristen M. Jogerst, Yu Hui H. Chang, David A. Etzioni, Amit K. Mathur, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Nabil Wasif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The volume-mortality association led to regionalization recommendations for pancreatic surgery. Mortality following pancreatectomy has declined, but case-volume thresholds remain unchanged. Methods: Patients undergoing pancreatectomy from 2004 to 2013 were identified in the National Cancer Database (NCDB). Hospitals were divided into low (LV), medium (MV), and high-volume (HV) strata using 30-day mortality quartiles and logistic regression with cubic splines. Adjusted absolute difference and odds of 30-day mortality between strata were calculated. Results: Annual volumes for LV, MV, and HV were <4, 4–18 and > 18 cases using quartiles and <6, 6–18 and > 18 using cubic splines. Absolute 30-day mortality trended downwards, with differential improvements for MV and LV. Benchmark 30-day mortality for hospitals with >18 cases was 2.8%. For this benchmark, the case-volume threshold decreased from 31 in 2004 to 6 in 2013. Conclusion: Differential improvement in 30-day mortality at LV and MV hospitals led to similar 30-day mortality odds at MV and HV hospitals by 2013.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-324
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Pancreatectomy
  • Regionalization
  • Volume-outcomes relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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