PRACTICE GUIDELINE
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JPN Guidelines for the management of acute pancreatitis: cutting-edge information.

The JPN Guidelines for the Management of Acute Pancreatitis are organized under the subject headings: epidemiology, diagnosis, management strategy, severity assessment and transfer criteria, management of gallstone pancreatitis, nonsurgical management, and surgical management. The Guidelines contain cutting-edge information on each of these subjects, as well as a section on the Japanese medical insurance system which provides information that should prove useful to physicians in other countries. The quality of the evidence was evaluated by the evidence-based classification method used at the Cochrane Library. The levels of recommendation of the individual management methods contained in the Guidelines were determined on the basis of the evaluation of evidence by the consensus of the members of the Working Group (see below). The Japanese Society for Abdominal Emergency Medicine, the Japan Pancreas Society, and the Research Group for Intractable Diseases and Refractory Pancreatic Diseases (which is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare) were commissioned to produce the JPN Guidelines for the Management of Acute Pancreatitis. A Working Group of 20 physicians specializing in pancreatic diseases and emergency medicine investigated and analyzed 14821 cases retrieved by means of a Medline (1960-2004) search and discussed the available literature on acute pancreatitis (limited to human pancreatitis). The Working Group held many general discussions in order to reach a consensus on the content of the Guidelines. After producing a draft, the Publishing Committee of the JPN Guidelines for the Management of Acute Pancreatitis posted it on a website and asked for comments and criticisms. Subsequently, a final version of the Guidelines was published in Japanese in 2003. The Publishing Committee is now making the Guidelines available to a much wider readership by bringing out an English version.

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