Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Gastroenterology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Study protocol

Early surgery versus optimal current step-up practice for chronic pancreatitis (ESCAPE): design and rationale of a randomized trial

Usama Ahmed Ali12, Yama Issa1, Marco J Bruno3, Harry van Goor4, Hjalmar van Santvoort2, Olivier RC Busch1, Cornelis HC Dejong5, Vincent B Nieuwenhuijs67, Casper H van Eijck8, Hendrik M van Dullemen9, Paul Fockens10, Peter D Siersema11, Dirk J Gouma1, Jeanin E van Hooft10, Yolande Keulemans12, Jan W Poley3, Robin Timmer13, Marc G Besselink1, Frank P Vleggaar11, Oliver H Wilder-Smith14, Hein G Gooszen15, Marcel GW Dijkgraaf16, Marja A Boermeester1* and for the Dutch Pancreatitis Study Group

Author affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, PO 22660, 1100 DD, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

2 Department of Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht, HP G04.228, PO 85500, 3508 GA, Utrecht, the Netherlands

3 Department of Gastroenterology, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, PO 2040, 3000 CA, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

4 Department of Surgery, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, HP 630, PO 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

5 Department of Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, PO 5800, 6202 AZ, Maastricht, the Netherlands

6 Department of Surgery, Isala Ziekenhuis, PO 10500, 8000 GM, Zwolle Zwolle, the Netherlands

7 Department of Surgery, University Medical Center Groningen, PO 30001, 9700 RB, Groningen, the Netherlands

8 Department of Surgery, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, PO 2040, 3000 CA, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

9 Department of Gastroenterology, University Medical Center Groningen, PO 30001, 9700 RB, Groningen, the Netherlands

10 Department of Gastroenterology, Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, PO 22660, 1100 DD, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

11 Department of Gastroenterology, University Medical Center Utrecht, PO 85500, 3508 GA, Utrecht, the Netherlands

12 Department of Gastroenterology, Maastricht University Medical Center, PO 5800, 6202 AZ, Maastricht, the Netherlands

13 Department of Gastroenterology, Antonius Ziekenhuis, PO 2500, 3430 EM, Nieuwegein, the Netherlands

14 Department of Anesthesia, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, HP 630, PO 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

15 Department of Evidence Based Surgery, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, HP 630, PO 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

16 Clinical Research Unit, Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, PO 22660, 1100 DD, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Gastroenterology 2013, 13:49  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-13-49

Published: 18 March 2013

Abstract

Background

In current practice, patients with chronic pancreatitis undergo surgical intervention in a late stage of the disease, when conservative treatment and endoscopic interventions have failed. Recent evidence suggests that surgical intervention early on in the disease benefits patients in terms of better pain control and preservation of pancreatic function. Therefore, we designed a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the benefits, risks and costs of early surgical intervention compared to the current stepwise practice for chronic pancreatitis.

Methods/design

The ESCAPE trial is a randomized controlled, parallel, superiority multicenter trial. Patients with chronic pancreatitis, a dilated pancreatic duct (≥ 5 mm) and moderate pain and/or frequent flare-ups will be registered and followed monthly as potential candidates for the trial. When a registered patient meets the randomization criteria (i.e. need for opioid analgesics) the patient will be randomized to either early surgical intervention (group A) or optimal current step-up practice (group B). An expert panel of chronic pancreatitis specialists will oversee the assessment of eligibility and ensure that allocation to either treatment arm is possible. Patients in group A will undergo pancreaticojejunostomy or a Frey-procedure in case of an enlarged pancreatic head (≥ 4 cm). Patients in group B will undergo a step-up practice of optimal medical treatment, if needed followed by endoscopic interventions, and if needed followed by surgery, according to predefined criteria. Primary outcome is pain assessed with the Izbicki pain score during a follow-up of 18 months. Secondary outcomes include complications, mortality, total direct and indirect costs, quality of life, pancreatic insufficiency, alternative pain scales, length of hospital admission, number of interventions and pancreatitis flare-ups. For the sample size calculation we defined a minimal clinically relevant difference in the primary endpoint as a difference of at least 15 points on the Izbicki pain score during follow-up. To detect this difference a total of 88 patients will be randomized (alpha 0.05, power 90%, drop-out 10%).

Discussion

The ESCAPE trial will investigate whether early surgery in chronic pancreatitis is beneficial in terms of pain relief, pancreatic function and quality of life, compared with current step-up practice.

Trial registration

ISRCTN: ISRCTN45877994

Keywords:
Chronic pancreatitis; Pain; Surgical management; Surgery; Endoscopic treatment; Endoscopy; ERCP; Opioid; Pancreaticojejunostomy; Frey procedure