Length of stay overestimates severity of post-ERCP pancreatitis: Is it time to revise the consensus definition?
submitted 12 December 2017
accepted after revision 25 April 2018
04 July 2018 (online)
Introduction Length of stay (LOS) is an important determinant of the severity of post-ERCP pancreatitis (PEP) in the consensus definition. The aim of our study was to evaluate and compare severity of PEP based on the revised Atlanta classification (RAC) and the consensus definition.
Patients and methods Between 1/2000 and 12/2011, all adult patients admitted with suspicion of PEP after outpatient ERCP were evaluated. PEP was defined using the RAC, but the severity of PEP was defined using both revised Atlanta and consensus definitions.
Results A total of 341 patients (mean age 49 years and 75 % females) were diagnosed with PEP. The consensus definition classified 57 %, 37 %, and 8 % of patients with mild, moderate, and severe PEP, respectively. The RAC diagnosed 94 %, 6 %, and 0 % with mild, moderate, and severe acute pancreatitis, respectively. Of the patients diagnosed with moderate-severe PEP by consensus definition, only 12.5 % had clinical parameters of pancreatitis severity, such as acute fluid collection(s), pancreatic necrosis, transient organ failure and/or required percutaneous or surgical drainage, while 87.5 % were classified only based on a LOS ≥ 4 days. The most common reason for increased LOS was persistent post-procedural abdominal pain in 47 % of patients, followed by other reasons not related to pancreatitis in 17 %.
Conclusion The consensus definition overestimates the rates of severe PEP when compared to the RAC. The majority of PEP patients classified as moderate-severe PEP have extended LOS, due to post-procedural abdominal pain rather than complications of PEP.
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