Computed tomography features predictive of intra-abdominal hypertension in acute necrotizing pancreatitis: A prospective study

Indian J Gastroenterol. 2021 Jun;40(3):326-332. doi: 10.1007/s12664-021-01149-9. Epub 2021 May 21.


Background: Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) in acute pancreatitis (AP) are associated with development and worsening of organ failures and poor prognosis. Limited studies suggest that contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) can predict the presence of IAH/ACS. We aimed to study clinical profile of patients with AP and IAH and identify predictive factors of IAH on CECT abdomen.

Methods: Consecutive patients admitted with moderately severe and severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) were recruited. Clinical and radiological data were recorded prospectively. Intra-abdominal pressure was measured via a urinary catheter to document the presence of IAH/ACS. CECT abdomen was done within the first week of admission and various features that may predict the presence of IAH were studied.

Results: Thirty-seven patients (24 SAP) (mean age: 39.78 ± 13.43 years and 67.6% males) with AP were studied. The most common etiology was alcohol (37.7%). IAH developed in 54.05% of patients; patients with IAH had significantly higher bedside index of severity in AP (BISAP), Acute Physiologic Assessment and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score, persistent acute lung injury (ALI), persistent acute kidney injury (AKI), persistent cardiovascular failure (CVSF), intensive care unit (ICU) stay, and mortality. Among the CT predictors, patients with IAH more commonly had moderate-gross ascites (60% vs. 23.5%, p-value - 0.026), a pancreatic necrosis of > 50% (50% vs. 17.6%, p-value - 0.04), and a round belly sign (RBS) (50% vs. 5.9%, p-value 0.03). On multivariate analysis, only RBS was predictive of IAH (odds ratio 12.6, 95% confidence interval 1.3-124.2, p-value 0.03). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for RBS were 50%, 94.12%, 90.9%, and 61.54%, respectively.

Conclusion: Presence of RBS, moderate-gross ascites, and pancreatic necrosis of > 50% on CECT can predict the presence of IAH in these groups of patients.

Keywords: Acute pancreatitis; Compartment syndrome; Computed tomography; Intra-abdominal hypertension; Pancreatic necrosis; Round belly sign; Severe acute pancreatitis.