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Invited Commentary
April 11, 2011

BUN Level as a Marker of Severity in Acute Pancreatitis: Simple, Universal, and Accurate: Comment on “Blood Urea Nitrogen in the Early Assessment of Acute Pancreatitis”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(7):676-677. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.125

Acute pancreatitis is a devastating disease, causing over 200 000 hospitalizations in the United States annually. A cause of extensive morbidity, the per-incident mortality rate of acute pancreatitis is approximately 5%. With no pharmacologic intervention that has proven reliable in improving clinical outcomes, it is imperative that clinicians recognize patients with a predicted severe outcome early in their course. Early recognition of severity allows for appropriate triage to the intensive care unit, adequate fluid resuscitation, and initiation of enteral feedings.