Background: Mortality in patients with acute pancreatitis is associated with the number of failing organs and the severity and reversibility of organ dysfunction. The aim of this study was to assess the significance of early systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) in the development of multiorgan dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and death from acute pancreatitis.
Methods: Data for all patients with a diagnosis of acute pancreatitis between January 2000 and December 2004 were reviewed. Serum C-reactive protein (CRP), Acute Physiology And Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scores and presence of SIRS were recorded on admission and at 48 h. Marshall organ dysfunction scores were calculated during the first week of presentation. Presence of SIRS and raised serum CRP levels on admission and at 48 h were correlated with the cumulative organ dysfunction scores in the first week.
Results: A total of 759 patients with acute pancreatitis were identified, of whom 45 (5.9 per cent) died during the index admission. SIRS was identified in 162 patients on admission and was persistent in 138 at 48 h. The median (range) cumulative Marshall score in patients with persistent SIRS was significantly higher than that in patients in whom SIRS resolved and in those with no SIRS (4 (0-12), 3 (0-7) and 0 (0-9) respectively; P < 0.001). Thirty-five patients (25.4 per cent) with persistent SIRS died from acute pancreatitis, compared with six patients (8 per cent) with transient SIRS and four (0.7 per cent) without SIRS (P < 0.001). No correlation was observed between CRP level on admission and Marshall score (P = 0.810); however, there was a close correlation between CRP level at 48 h and Marshall score (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Persistent SIRS is associated with MODS and death in patients with acute pancreatitis and is an early indicator of the likely severity of acute pancreatitis.
Copyright (c) 2006 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.