Aim: To investigate the relationship between severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) and organ failure.
Methods: Clinical data of 74 cases of SAP from Jan. 1993 to Dec. 2002 were retrospectively reviewed, and the relationship between organ failure and age, gender, etiology, extent of necrosis, infection of necrosis and mortality was analyzed.
Results: A total of 47 patients (63.5%) showed organ failure, 20 patients (27.0%) multiple organ failure, whereas 27 patients (36.5%) with dysfunction of a single organ system. Pulmonary failure was the most common organ dysfunction (23.0%) among single organ failures. There were no significant differences in age, gender and gallstone pancreatitis among patients with or without organ failure (P>0.05). The incidence of organ failure in infected necrosis was not higher compared with sterile necrosis, and patients with increased amount of necrosis did not have an increased prevalence of organ failure (P>0.05). Patients with organ failure had a higher mortality rate compared with those without organ failure (P<0.05). The death of SAP was associated with multiple organ failure (P<0.005), pulmonary failure (P<0.005), cardiovascular dysfunction (P<0.05) and gastrointestinal dysfunction (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Organ failure is common in patients with SAP, and patients with multiple organ failure and pulmonary failure have a higher mortality rate. Prevention and active treatment of organ failure can improve the outcome of patients with SAP.