Early on-demand drainage or standard management for acute pancreatitis patients with acute necrotic collections and persistent organ failure: A pilot randomized controlled trial

J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Sci. 2021 Apr;28(4):387-396. doi: 10.1002/jhbp.915. Epub 2021 Mar 18.


Background/purpose: The current standard care for acute pancreatitis with acute necrotic collections (ANC) is to postpone invasive intervention for 4 weeks when indicated. However, in patients with persistent organ failure (POF), this delayed approach may prolong organ failure. In this study, we aimed to assess the feasibility and safety of earlier drainage for acute pancreatitis patients with ANC and POF.

Methods: A single-center, randomized controlled trial was conducted. Eligible patients were randomly assigned to either the early on-demand (EOD) group or the standard management (SM) group. Within 21 days of randomization, early drainage was triggered by unremitted or worsening organ failure in the EOD group. The primary endpoint was a composite of major complications/death during 90-days follow-up.

Results: Thirty patients were randomized. Within 21 days of randomization, eight of the 15 patients (53%) in the EOD group underwent percutaneous drainage compared to four of the 15 patients (27%) in the SM group (P = 0.26). The primary outcome occurred in three of the 15 (20%) patients in the EOD group and seven of the 15(46.7%) in the controls (P = 0.25, relative risk 0.43, 95%CI 0.14 to 1.35).

Conclusions: Although the EOD approach did not result in significant differences between groups, the primary outcome assessed in this trial demonstrated the potential for clinical benefits favoring early drainage.

Keywords: acute necrotic collections; acute pancreatitis; percutaneous drainage; persistent organ failure.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Drainage
  • Humans
  • Pancreatitis, Acute Necrotizing* / therapy
  • Pilot Projects
  • Treatment Outcome