Background: High platelet counts are associated with an adverse effect on survival in various neoplastic entities. The prognostic relevance of preoperative platelet count in pancreatic cancer has not been clarified. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of 205 patients with ductal adenocarcinoma who underwent surgical resection between 1990 and 2003. Demographic, surgical, and clinicopathologic variables were collected. A cutoff of 300,000/μl was used to define high platelet count. Results: Of the 205 patients, 56 (27.4%) had a high platelet count, whereas 149 patients (72.6%) comprised the low platelet group. The overall median survival was 17 (2-178) months. The median survival of the high platelet group was 18 (2-137) months, and that of the low platelet group was 15 (2-178) months (p = 0.7). On multivariate analysis, lymph node metastasis, vascular invasion, positive margins, and CA 19-9 > 200 U/ml were all significantly associated with poor survival. Conclusions: There is no evidence to support preoperative platelet count as either an adverse or favorable prognostic factor in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Use of 5-year actual survival data confirms that lymph node metastases, positive margins, vascular invasion, and CA 19-9 are predictors of poor survival in resected pancreatic cancer.
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