Background/aims: In previous studies, we have demonstrated that hemoconcentration was an early marker for necrotizing pancreatitis. The aim of the present study was to determine whether fluid resuscitation could prevent pancreatic necrosis among patients with hemoconcentration at the time of admission.
Methods: Data was pooled from the prior two studies of all patients with necrotizing pancreatitis and interstitial pancreatitis with a hematocrit of > or = 44 on admission. Hematocrit values in necrotizing pancreatitis and interstitial pancreatitis were compared at admission and at 24 h. Statistical analyses were performed using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test.
Results: A total of 39 patients satisfied our inclusion criteria, 28 with necrotizing pancreatitis and 11 with interstitial pancreatitis. Patients with necrotizing pancreatitis presented earlier than patients with interstitial pancreatitis (median 18 vs. 38 h, respectively) (p = 0.005). There was no significant difference between the intergroup median hematocrits on admission and at 24 h. All patients with hematocrits that failed to decrease at 24 h developed necrotizing pancreatitis (12/28 with necrotizing pancreatitis vs. 0/11 with interstitial pancreatitis) (p = 0.009). There was no significant difference at 24 h in rehydration among the three groups: 4.0 liters among the 12 patients with necrotizing pancreatitis whose hematocrits increased and 4.5 liters among the 16 whose hematocrits decreased at 24 h, and 4.1 liters among the 11 patients with interstitial pancreatitis (p = 0.81).
Conclusion: Patients who presented early were more likely to have necrotizing pancreatitis than interstitial pancreatitis. While fluid resuscitation was not shown to prevent pancreatic necrosis, all patients with inadequate fluid resuscitation as evidenced by persistence of hemoconcentration at 24 h developed necrotizing pancreatitis.