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Infectious Disorders - Drug Targets


ISSN (Print): 1871-5265
ISSN (Online): 2212-3989

Current Trends in the Management of Infected Necrotizing Pancreatitis

Author(s): George H. Sakorafas, Christos Lappas, Aikaterini Mastoraki, Spiros G. Delis and Michael Safioleas

Volume 10, Issue 1, 2010

Page: [9 - 14] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/187152610790410936

Price: $65


Severe acute pancreatitis is a potentially life-threatening disease. Pancreatic necrosis is associated with an aggravated prognosis, while superimposed infection is almost always lethal without surgery. Bacterial translocation mainly from the gut is the most widely accepted mechanism in the pathogenesis of infected pancreatic necrosis. Infected pancreatic necrosis should be suspected in the presence of the usual markers of systemic inflammation (i.e., fever and leukocytosis), organ failure, or a protracted severe clinical course. The diagnostic method of choice to confirm the diagnosis of pancreatic necrosis is contrast-enhanced computed tomography, where necrotic areas are evidenced as regions without enhancement. The presence of pancreatic necrotic infection should be based on a combination of clinical manifestations, results of laboratory investigation (mainly increased levels of CRP and / or procalcitonin), and can be confirmed by image-guided fine-needle aspiration and gram stain /culture of the aspirates. Surgery remains the treatment of choice for the management of infected pancreatic necrosis and involves open necrosectomy (debridement) and wide drainage of the peripancreatic areas, often in association with continuous irrigation. Planned reoperations may be required to achieve complete removal of the necrotic / infected material. The timing of surgery is of paramount importance; ideally, surgery should be performed after 2 or 3 weeks from the onset of pancreatitis. Recently, various minimally invasive approaches have been described, but they have not been compared in prospective trials with the classical open surgery. Antibiotic therapy is routinely used in patients with infected necrotizing pancreatitis, in conjunction with surgical debridement; its role, however, in the management of patients with sterile necrosis is recently questioned. Nutritional support should be taken into consideration in these patients; enteral nutrition should be preferred over total parenteral nutrition to improve the anatomical and functional integrity of the gut mucosa, thereby preventing bacterial translocation.

Keywords: Pancreas, pancreatitis, surgery, debridement, antibiotic therapy, necrotizing pancreatitis, FNA

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