Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of acute pancreatitis
- Santhi Swaroop Vege, MD
Santhi Swaroop Vege, MD
- Professor of Medicine
- Mayo Clinic
Acute pancreatitis is an acute inflammatory process of the pancreas. Acute pancreatitis should be suspected in patients with severe acute upper abdominal pain but requires biochemical or radiologic evidence to establish the diagnosis.
This topic will review the clinical manifestations and diagnosis of acute pancreatitis. The etiology, pathogenesis, assessment of severity, and management of acute pancreatitis are discussed separately. (See "Etiology of acute pancreatitis" and "Pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis" and "Predicting the severity of acute pancreatitis" and "Management of acute pancreatitis".)
Acute pancreatitis is divided into the following:
●Mild acute pancreatitis, which is characterized by the absence of organ failure and local or systemic complications
●Moderately severe acute pancreatitis, which is characterized by transient organ failure (resolves within 48 hours) and/or local or systemic complications without persistent organ failure (>48 hours)
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- CLINICAL FEATURES
- PHYSICAL EXAMINATION
- LABORATORY FINDINGS
- Pancreatic enzymes and products
- - Serum amylase
- - Serum lipase
- - Other enzymes and products
- Markers of immune activation
- Other laboratory findings
- Abdominal and chest radiographs
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Abdominal computed tomography
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Diagnostic evaluation
- - Laboratory studies
- - Imaging
- DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS
- ESTABLISHING THE ETIOLOGY
- NATURAL HISTORY AND COMPLICATIONS
- Disease course
- Local complications
- Systemic complications
- Organ failure
- INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS