Contempo Updates
Clinician's Corner
June 16, 2004

Severe Acute Pancreatitis

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of General Internal Medicine (Dr Vege) and Division of Gastroenterology (Drs Chari and Clain), Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.


Contempo Updates Section Editor: Catherine Meyer, MD, Fishbein Fellow.

JAMA. 2004;291(23):2865-2868. doi:10.1001/jama.291.23.2865

In the United States, of the approximately 210 000 patients admitted to hospitals each year with acute pancreatitis,1 about 20% have severe acute pancreatitis (SAP), and primary care physicians and internists are often the first clinicians to care for these patients. In contrast to mild acute pancreatitis, which has a mortality rate of less than 1%,2 the death rate for SAP is much higher: 10% with sterile and 25% with infected pancreatic necrosis.3 Hospitalization for patients with SAP may extend beyond 2 weeks and frequently involves an intensive care unit (ICU) stay.

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