The clinical outcome from early versus delayed minimally invasive intervention for infected pancreatic necrosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Gastroenterol. 2022 Jun;57(6):397-406. doi: 10.1007/s00535-022-01876-6. Epub 2022 Apr 29.


Background: While the management of infected pancreatic necrosis (IPN) has evolved in the last two decades with the adoption of minimally invasive interventions (drainage ± debridement), it is unknown whether the principle of delaying intervention inherited from the open surgery era still applies. The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of the timing of minimally invasive intervention on the outcomes of patients with IPN requiring intervention.

Methods: PubMed, Embase, MEDLINE and Web of Science databases were searched for appropriate studies. The primary outcome of interest was hospital mortality, the secondary outcomes were the incidence of complications during the hospitalization, including new-onset organ failure, gastrointestinal fistula or perforation, bleeding and length of hospital or intensive care unit (ICU) stay.

Results: Seven clinical studies were included with a total of 742 patients with IPN requiring intervention, of whom 321 received early intervention and 421 delayed intervention. Results from the meta-analysis showed that early minimally invasive intervention did not increase hospital mortality (odds ratio 1.65, 95% confidence interval 0.97-2.81; p = 0.06) but was associated with a remarkably prolonged hospital stay and an increased incidence of gastrointestinal fistula or perforation when compared with delayed intervention.

Conclusions: Although no firm conclusion can be drawn because of the quality of available studies, it does appear that timing of intervention is a risk factor for adverse outcomes and ought to be investigated more rigorously in prospective studies.

Keywords: Clinical outcomes; Delayed intervention; Early intervention; Infected pancreatic necrosis; Minimally invasive intervention.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drainage / methods
  • Fistula* / complications
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Pancreatitis, Acute Necrotizing* / surgery
  • Prospective Studies