Objectives: To describe the clinical picture and outcome, and to assess the etiological factors of acute and recurrent pancreatitis in children.
Methods: Thirty-six (65.5%) patients with acute and 19 (34.5%) with recurrent pancreatitis were studied. Mean age was 126 (41.3 SD) months; 27 (49.1%) were females.
Setting: A pediatric referral hospital.
Variables: Clinical and laboratory data and etiological factors.
Statistics: Chi2-test, Fisher test, OR, confidence interval, Student t-test and Mann-Whitney U-test.
Results: The most frequent symptom in acute and recurrent pancreatitis was abdominal pain, followed by vomiting and ileus. The severity of pancreatitis and complications were similar in both groups. Biliary stones, family history of pancreatitis, drug ingestion and hypercalcemia occurred in both groups. Abdominal trauma and acute hepatitis A occurred in patients with acute pancreatitis; triglyceride>5.65 mmol/L, pancreas divisum and DeltaF508 mutation occurred in patients with recurrent pancreatitis. No difference was observed when frequency factors between study groups were compared.
Conclusions: The clinical picture and etiological factors were similar in both groups. Since one out of every three children with acute pancreatitis in this series presented recurrences, it was not considered to be a 'benign disease'. Fifteen different etiological factors were identified in two-thirds of the cases.