Objectives: To determine the incidence, etiology and outcome of pancreatitis at a regional children's hospital.
Methods: Chart review of all patients with pancreatitis seen during a 6 year period at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. The diagnosis of pancreatitis required either a serum amylase or lipase >3 times normal or radiographic evidence of pancreatitis.
Results: Two hundred fourteen episodes of pancreatitis in 180 patients were documented. The most common etiologies were systemic disease (14%), trauma (14%), drug induced (12%), biliary tract disease (12%), infectious (8%), and idiopathic (8%), which made up 68% of the total cases. Eleven patients died, all from underlying systemic illnesses. The serum amylase and lipase were elevated in 82% and 83% of patients respectively.
Conclusions: Pancreatitis is more common in children than previously thought. Upon careful assessment fewer cases were found to be idiopathic than in previous series. The outcome of pancreatitis depends on co-morbid conditions.