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Management of acute pancreatitis

Santhi Swaroop Vege, MD
Section Editor
David C Whitcomb, MD, PhD
Deputy Editor
Shilpa Grover, MD, MPH, AGAF


Acute pancreatitis is an acute inflammatory process of the pancreas. Mortality ranges from 3 percent in patients with interstitial edematous pancreatitis to 17 percent in patients who develop pancreatic necrosis [1,2].

This topic reviews the management of acute pancreatitis. Our recommendations are largely consistent with the American Gastroenterological Association, the American College of Gastroenterology, and the International Association of Pancreatology/American Pancreatic Association guidelines for the treatment of acute pancreatitis [3-5]. The etiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and assessment of severity of acute pancreatitis are discussed separately. (See "Etiology of acute pancreatitis" and "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of acute pancreatitis" and "Predicting the severity of acute pancreatitis".)


According to the Atlanta classification, acute pancreatitis can be divided into two broad categories [6]:

Interstitial edematous acute pancreatitis, which is characterized by acute inflammation of the pancreatic parenchyma and peripancreatic tissues, but without recognizable tissue necrosis.

Necrotizing acute pancreatitis, which is characterized by inflammation associated with pancreatic parenchymal necrosis and/or peripancreatic necrosis.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Aug 09, 2017.
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