Background: Acute pancreatitis is a common condition that is still associated with substantial morbidity and mortality rates. Management, outcome and recurrence rate in acute pancreatitis in a clinical setting using a conservative management approach are described.
Methods: A total of 1376 consecutive cases representing 2211 hospitalizations due to acute pancreatitis treated at the Dept. of Surgery, Lund University Hospital, Lund, were reviewed retrospectively. Management, outcome and recurrence rate were recorded.
Results: Incidence, including recurrences, was 300 per million per year; 21% of patients had recurrent (> or =2) attacks. In relapsing disease, two-thirds of patients had the first attack within 3 months. Mortality decreased over the period studied, but overall it was 4.2%; mortality in relapsing attacks was 2.5%, related to multiple organ dysfunction (MODS) in 67% and occurring within the first week in 36%.
Conclusions: Despite a conservative approach in the management of acute pancreatitis, mortality is still substantial, frequently occurs early after admission, is associated with MODS and is also seen in relapsing disease. Early cholecystectomy and bile duct clearance could decrease recurrent attacks of biliary pancreatitis.