Do we need a computed tomography examination in all patients with acute pancreatitis within 72 h after admission to hospital for the detection of pancreatic necrosis?

P. G. Lankisch, K. Struckmann, C. Assmus, D. Lehnick, P. Maisonneuve, A. B. Lowenfels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The aim of this prospective study was to define the role of an initial contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) obtained within 72 h after admission to hospital for determining the prognosis of acute pancreatitis and to investigate whether CT scans can be replaced by conventional prognostic parameters. Methods: The study involves 231 patients admitted to the Lüneburg clinic with a first attack of acute pancreatitis from 1988 to 1995. In all of them, a contrast-enhanced CT was performed within 72 h of admission and scored according to Balthazar. The results were compared with the Ranson and Imrie laboratory prognostic scores and with parameters of the severity of the disease: the initial organ failure according to the Atlanta classification; days spent on intensive care unit or altogether in hospital; indication for artificial ventilation, dialysis and surgical intervention (necrosectomy); development of pancreatic pseudocysts; and mortality. Results: Although there was a good statistical correlation between Ranson, Imrie, and Balthazar scores with the severity of the disease (P <0.001 to P = 0.03), low and moderately raised Ranson (0-2, 0-5 points) and Imrie scores (0-1, 0-3 points) failed to identify all patients with pancreatic necrosis with sufficient sensitivity rates (31.7; 78.0 and 39.0; 78.0%), positive (32.6:25.3 and 75.0; 45.0%) and negative (91.0; 87.9 and 85.4; 84.8%) predictive values. Conclusions: A contrastenhanced CT on admission correlates significantly with the severity of the disease and cannot be replaced by conventional laboratory prognostic scores. The decision to use a CT cannot depend on the results of the Ranson/Imrie scores.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-436
Number of pages5
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume36
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Contrast-enhanced computed tomography
  • Imrie score
  • Morality
  • Prognosis
  • Ranson score
  • Severity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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