Mortality and costs related to severe acute pancreatitis in the intensive care units of Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), 2003-2020

Pancreatology. 2023 Jun;23(4):341-349. doi: 10.1016/j.pan.2023.04.006. Epub 2023 Apr 21.


Background and objective: Comprehensive data on the burden of severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) in global intensive care units (ICUs) and trends over time are lacking. Our objective was to compare trends in hospital and ICU mortality, in-hospital and ICU length of stay, and costs related to ICU admission in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) for SAP.

Methods: We performed a retrospective, observational, cohort study of ICU admissions reported to the ANZ Intensive Care Society Adult Patient Database over three consecutive six-year time periods from 2003 to 2020.

Results: 12,635 patients with SAP from 189 ICUs in ANZ were analysed. No difference in adjusted hospital mortality (11.4% vs 11.5% vs 11.0%, p = 0.85) and ICU mortality rates (7.5% vs 8.0% vs 8.1%, p = 0.73) were noted over the study period. Median length of hospital admission reduced over time (13.9 days in 2003-08, 13.1 days in 2009-14 and 12.5 days in 2015-20; p < 0.01). No difference in length of ICU stay was noted over the study period (p = 0.13). The cost of managing SAP in ANZ ICUs remained constant over the three time periods.

Conclusions: In critically-ill SAP patients in ANZ, no change in mortality has been noted over nearly two decades. There was a slight reduction in hospital stay (1 day), while the length of ICU stay remained unchanged. Given the significant costs related to care of patients with SAP in ICU, these findings highlight the need to prioritise resource allocation for healthcare delivery and targeted clinical research to identify treatments aimed at reducing mortality.

Keywords: Demography; Morbidity; Mortality.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Length of Stay
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Pancreatitis* / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies