Management guidelines for gallstone pancreatitis. Are the targets achievable?

Pandanaboyana Sanjay, Sim Yeeting, Carole Whigham, Hannah K Judson, Christoph Kulli, Francesco M Polignano, Iain S Tait
JOP: Journal of the Pancreas 2009 January 8, 10 (1): 43-7

CONTEXT: Current management of gallstone pancreatitis in a university hospital.

OBJECTIVE: Comparison of current management of gallstone pancreatitis with recommendations in national guidelines.

SETTING: Tertiary care centre in Scotland.

SUBJECTS: One-hundred consecutive patients admitted with gallstone pancreatitis.

METHODS: All patients that presented with gallstone pancreatitis over a 4-year period were audited retrospectively. Data were collated for radiological diagnosis within 48 hours, ERCP within 72 hours, CT at 6-10 days, and use of high-dependency or intensive therapy units in severe gallstone pancreatitis, and definitive treatment of gallstone pancreatitis within 2 weeks as recommended in national guidelines.

RESULTS: Forty-six patients had severe gallstone pancreatitis and 54 patients mild pancreatitis. Etiology was established within 48 hours in 92 patients. Six (13.0%) out of the patients with severe gallstone pancreatitis were managed in a high dependency unit. Fifteen (32.6%) patients with severe gallstone pancreatitis underwent CT within 6-10 days of admission. Four (8.7%) of the 46 patients with severe gallstone pancreatitis had urgent ERCP (less than 72 hours). Overall 22/100 patients unsuitable for surgery underwent endoscopic sphincterotomy as definitive treatment. Seventy-eight patients had surgery, with 40 (51.3%) of these patients undergoing an index admission cholecystectomy, and 38 (48.7%) patients were discharged for interval cholecystectomy. Overall 81 patients with gallstone pancreatitis had definitive therapy during the index to same admission (cholecystectomy or sphincterotomy). Two (5.3%) patients were readmitted whilst awaiting interval cholecystectomy: one with acute cholecystitis and one with acute pancreatitis. There were no mortalities in this cohort.

CONCLUSION: This study has highlighted difficulties in implementation of national guidelines, as the use of critical care, timing of ERCP and CT, and definitive treatment prior to discharge did not concur with national targets for gallstone pancreatitis.


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