JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[Percutaneous ultrasound-guided drainage in the surgical treatment of acute severe pancreatitis].

Annales de Chirurgie 2004 November
AIM OF THE STUDY: To report results of percutaneous ultrasound-guided drainage, performed by a surgeon, in the treatment of complications of acute pancreatitis (AP), and to determine the role of this technique in the therapeutic armamentarium of severe AP.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: From 1986 to 2001, 59 patients were included in this retrospective study. All patients initially had severe necrotizing AP (mean Ranson score = 4.1 ; range : 2-7). Anatomical lesions included pancreatic abscess in 6 patients and necrosis in 53 (17 stage D and 36 stage E according to Balthazar's classification). Necrosis was infected in 42 and sterile in 11 respectively. Drainage was performed under ultrasound guidance and local anaesthesia using small-diameter drains (7-14 French).

RESULTS: Drainage was performed on average 23 days after onset of AP. Infection was proven by fine-needle aspiration in 47 (80 %) patients (41 infected necrosis and 6 localized abscess). In one patient, culture of aspirated fluid was negative but necrosis was infected (one false negative). Culture of aspirated fluid was negative and necrosis was sterile in 11 patients. Nineteen (32%) patients healed without subsequent surgery: 7 (16%) in the infected necrosis group, 6(55%) in the sterile necrosis group, and 6 (100%) in the abscess group. Forty (68%) patients had subsequent necrosectomy including 8 (14%) who died. Twenty (34 %) digestive fistulas healed spontaneously, except one treated by diversion stomia. Of the 16 (27 %) pancreatic fistulas, 6 needed subsequent interventional treatment.

CONCLUSION: In selected patients, percutaneous drainage can represent an alternative to surgery with a 14% mortality rate. The high rate of subsequent necrosectomy suggests that drains with larger diameter, possibly associated with continuous irrigation, should be used.

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