Background: Pancreatic necrosis is associated with high morbidity and mortality. The Atlanta Classification underwent proposed revisions in 2007 to better categorize acute pancreatitis.
Methods: From 1999 to 2008, patients with pancreatic necrosis treated with surgical debridement were analyzed. Computed tomography (CT) images were independently reviewed to classify of pancreatic collections according to the revised Atlanta classification.
Results: Seventy-three patients were categorized as infected extrapancreatic necrosis (40%), sterile extrapancreatic necrosis (29%), infected pancreatic necrosis (15%), sterile pancreatic necrosis (11%), or post-necrotic collection (5%). Mortality was 14%, and morbidity was 55%. Debridement with external drainage or open packing was associated with higher mortality than cystgastrostomy (p = 0.03). Atlanta Classification was not associated with operative procedure or mortality. Degree of chronic disease, demonstrated by albumin level, and infection were associated with longer stay (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Type of necrosis by the revised Atlanta Classification was not associated with outcomes or type of operation. Debridement by cystgastrostomy was associated with lower mortality rates than external drainage or open packing. Length of stay was increased in patients with evidence of chronic disease, infection, and postoperative complications. Necrotizing pancreatitis continues to be associated with significant morbidity and mortality and should undergo aggressive treatment at tertiary care centers.