Fungal infection in acute necrotizing pancreatitis

J Am Coll Surg. 1999 Apr;188(4):408-14. doi: 10.1016/s1072-7515(98)00334-2.


Background: Anecdotal reports suggest that patients with fungal infection of necrotizing pancreatitis (NP) have worse outcomes than those with bacterial infection. Our aim was to compare the clinical course and outcomes of patients with NP infected with fungal versus nonfungal organisms.

Study design: Prospectively collected data on 57 patients with infected NP (1983-1995) were reviewed.

Results: Seven patients (12%) developed fungal infection, and 50 (88%) developed bacterial infection. Groups had similar mean ages (60 versus 63 years) and APACHE-II scores on admission (9 each). The cause of NP was ERCP-induced in 3 of 7 with fungal infection versus 3 of 50 with bacterial infection. Patients with fungal infection had been treated with a mean of 4 different antibiotics for a mean of 23 days, and 4 of 7 (57%) required mechanical ventilation preoperatively. In addition, postoperative ICU stays were longer (20 versus 10 days), as were total hospital stays (59 versus 41 days). Mortality was higher with fungal infection; 3 of 7 patients (43%) died versus 10 of 50 patients (20%).

Conclusions: Although NP presents with similar initial severity, patients with fungal infection of NP tend to have a more complicated course and worse outcomes compared with those with bacterial infection. Low-dose antifungal prophylaxis should be added to early management of NP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bacterial Infections* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoses* / therapy
  • Pancreatitis, Acute Necrotizing / microbiology*
  • Pancreatitis, Acute Necrotizing / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors