Acute Pancreatitis

  • Jan J. De Waele


Acute pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease of the pancreas, which can be either localized or affect the whole pancreas, and is a disease with a typically unpredictable course. The spectrum of disease severity of acute pancreatitis varies from benign with only mild symptoms to patients who require treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU) for a prolonged period. The wide spectrum of signs and symptoms, and the lack of clear definitions have made it very difficult in the past to compare different studies regarding patient management and risk stratification. In 1992, a Consensus Conference was held to provide a number of descriptions of different classes of the disease process. The main result of this meeting was the differentiation between mild acute pancreatitis and severe acute pancreatitis, a classification scheme which is now widely used.1 Essentially, mild acute pancreatitis is a self-limiting disease with no local or systemic complications, and has a low to 0% mortality rate. Severe acute pancreatitis on the other hand, is more severe due to either local complications or systemic complications and often associated with one or more organ dysfunction(s). The validity and usefulness of these definitions have been questioned, and a revision is scheduled for 2008–2009. A more detailed and strict definition of organ dysfunction in patients with severe pancreatitis, and a clearer distinction between early and late events is urgently needed.


Acute Pancreatitis Organ Dysfunction Acinar Cell Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Enteral Nutrition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan J. De Waele
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Critical Care MedicineGhent University HospitalGhentBelgium

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