OBJECTIVES: The usefulness of early severity assessment of acute pancreatitis (AP) by contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) was investigated. METHODS: Data were obtained from a 2007 nationwide survey in Japan. Clinical data of 983 patients with AP were analyzed. All were examined by CECT on the day of admission. RESULTS: Early findings of CECT demonstrated that low enhanced pancreatic parenchyma (LEPP) was associated with the incidence of organ failure (OF), multiple OF, and infectious complications as well as mortality (P < 0.0001). Next, patients were further divided into 4 groups according to the CECT findings, which focused on the LEPP and peripancreatic collections (PPCs). The LEPP/PPC (+/+) group was characterized as high morbidity and high mortality. The incidence of OF (28.2%), multiple OF (15.5%), and mortality (11.4%) in patients assigned to the (+/+) group was significantly higher than in those assigned to the other groups. The incidence of infectious complications was significantly higher in patients assigned to the (+/+) group (16.7%), the (+/-) group (9.0%), and the (-/+) group (7.0%) than those assigned to the (-/-) group (1.8%). CONCLUSIONS: The detection of LEPP and PPC was a useful CECT finding for the early assessment of the severity of AP.
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