Author(s): Lankisch PG, WeberDany B, Maisonneuve P, Lowenfels AB
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Abstract BACKGROUND AND AIM: Previous studies on the development of pancreatic pseudocysts following acute pancreatitis were monocentric, mostly retrospective, did not fulfil the Atlanta criteria, and featured a mixture of patients with post-acute and chronic pancreatitis. Therefore, the natural course of pancreatic pseudocysts after acute pancreatitis and the reasons for their spontaneous resolution remain unknown. METHODS: This prospective study of 369 patients investigated the prognostic factors for development of pancreatic pseudocysts and for their spontaneous resolution after a first episode of acute pancreatitis. RESULTS: On discharge, 124 (34\%) patients still had pancreatic fluid collections. The prognostic factor for these fluid collections was severe acute pancreatitis. Follow-up examination 3 and 6 months later showed pancreatic pseudocysts in 36 (10\%) patients (30 with and 6 without prior fluid collection), and in 27 (7\%) patients (25 with and 2 without pancreatic pseudocyst after 3 months), respectively. The prognostic factors for their development were alcohol abuse and an initial severe course of the disease. Spontaneous complete resolution of the pancreatic pseudocysts occurred in 11 (31\%) of the 36 patients. Prognostic factors for the spontaneous resolution were no or mild symptoms (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain) and a maximal cyst diameter of <4 cm. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with a first severe attack of acute pancreatitis and fluid collections at discharge should be checked by ultrasonography for pancreatic pseudocysts 3 months later. In patients with a small pseudocyst and mild symptoms therapy may be postponed for a further 3 months, since spontaneous resolution is possible. Copyright © 2012 IAP and EPC. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Pancreatology
and referenced in Emergency Medicine: Open Access