JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[Diagnosis of severity as a basic parameter in the treatment of acute biliary pancreatitis].

BACKGROUND: Acute biliary pancreatitis (ABP) still retains high morbidity (15-50%) and mortality (20-35%). Therefore it appears to be crucial to clearly assess the aetiological factors (50% of idiopathic are in fact biliary pancreatitis) and to establish their severity in order to plan the appropriate treatment.

METHODS: 58 ABP patients were diagnosed by ultrasound (77.5%) or by laboratory findings (22.4%). Following Ranson and APACHE II scoring 17 cases (29.3%) were classified as severe, 41 (70.6%) as mild. All patients with severe ABP, had emergency ERCP + ES (within 24-48 hrs) followed by LC (< or = 10 days). Patients with mild ABP had LC within 10 days; in these cases IOC was always done.

RESULTS: In severe cases operative endoscopy cured pancreatic inflammation in 12 cases. Subsequent LC never showed serious morbidity, apart from subcutaneous emphysema in one case. In 5 cases laparotomy was required since pancreatic necrosis was present, with 60% mortality. In patients with mild pancreatitis LC was successfully performed in all cases, with 7.3% morbidity. IOC showed choledochal stones in 31.7% of cases, while in severe cases stones in the biliary tree were shown in 88.2% of cases.

CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion ABP treatment is always surgical, and almost always with minimally-invasive procedures in severe cases (ERCP + ES with LC < or = 10 days) if surgery is performed within 24-48 hrs as well as in mild cases (LC + IOC) when surgery is done within 10 days.

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