Evolving Definitions of Severe Acute Pancreatitis
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Definitions are important to the advancement of science and are always best considered as “working definitions” since science is iterative and our understanding of disease and severity determinants continues to evolve. This chapter provides a historical overview of the evolution of the definitions of acute pancreatitis severity before discussing the revised Atlanta classification of severity and some of the persisting problems with it. The determinants-based classification of severity, which is founded on the epidemiological concept of causal inference, is easy to use and early studies confirm its validity. The comparative performance of these two ways to classify the severity of acute pancreatitis requires further study and this chapter finishes by providing nine research priorities as a way forward. Such research is vital for meaningful communication between clinicians and the accurate allocation of patients to clinical trials, both of which are necessary to improve patient outcomes.
KeywordsAcute Pancreatitis Organ Failure Acute Pancreatitis Severe Acute Pancreatitis Pancreatic Necrosis
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