Background: Primary gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) of the duodenum are rare. The aim of this study was to review the surgical management of GISTs in this anatomically complex region. Methods: Retrospective review from January 1999 to August 2011 of patients with primary GISTs of the duodenum. Results: Forty-one patients underwent resection of duodenal GISTs. All operations were performed with intent to cure with negative margins of resection. The most common location of origin was the second portion of the duodenum. Local excision (n= 19), segmental resection with primary anastomosis (n= 11) and a pancreatoduodenectomy (n= 11) were performed. Two patients underwent an ampullectomy with local excision. Peri-operative mortality and overall morbidity were 0 and 12, respectively. Patients with high-risk GISTs (P= 0.008) and those who underwent a pancreatoduodenectomy (P= 0.021) were at a greater risk for morbidity. The median follow-up was 18 months. Eight patients developed recurrence. High-risk GISTs and neoplasms with ulceration had the greatest risk for recurrence (P= 0.017, P= 0.029 respectively). The actuarial 3- and 5-year survivals were 85% and 74%, respectively. Conclusion: The choice and type of resection depends on the proximity to the ampulla of Vater, involvement of adjacent organs and the ability to obtain negative margins. The morbidity depends on the type of procedure for GIST.
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