Multiple interventions with prolonged length of stay are required for treatment of necrotizing pancreatitis

Hamish Shilton, Daniel Breen, Sachin Gupta, Peter Evans, Charles Pilgrim

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Background: A proportion of patients with acute pancreatitis (AP) develop necrosis. Around a third will become infected, and this is associated with a significant requirement for intervention and support. We evaluated the burden of necrotizing pancreatitis (NP) in an Australian tertiary hospital with regards to morbidity, mortality and resource consumption. Methods: This is a retrospective case series of patients with AP admitted for at least 5 days to identify those with NP between 2009 and 2014. Data were analysed in groups according to the determinant-based classification of AP severity. Results: Of 1339 patients with AP, 546 stayed 5 days or longer, and 38 had necrosis. Overall mortality for those with necrosis was 10.5% (4/38). Infection complicated necrosis in 45% (17/38). Organ failure also occurred in 45% (17/38) of patients with necrosis. All patients in the critical category and severe category required admission to the intensive care unit for a median of 21 and 12 days, respectively. A total of 90% of patients with critical category disease developed multi-organ failure, whereas most with severe category disease developed single organ failure only. Overall length of stay increased with increasing severity of disease. Intervention was required in 82% of infected necrosis (median 4 procedures). Those without infection also required multiple radiological investigations (median 7). Conclusion: Necrosis is uncommon in our cohort but is associated with a significant health-care burden. Almost half the patients with necrosis develop organ failure requiring prolonged hospital and intensive care unit stay. Patients require multiple investigations and interventions for infected necrosis. NP remains a costly, morbid disease in our society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E162-E166
Number of pages5
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • critical care
  • delivery of health care
  • pancreatitis
  • pancreatitis, acute necrotizing
  • patient care management

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