Can early endoscopic ultrasound predict pancreatic necrosis in acute pancreatitis?

Authors Surinder S. Rana, Deepak K. Bhasin, Vishal Sharma, Ravi Sharma, Vinita Chaudhary, Puneet Chhabra.


Background Presence of pancreatic/extrapancreatic necroses (PN/EPN) is an important prognostic indicator in acute pancreatitis (AP) and their early detection is a challenge. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) provides high resolution images of pancreas but there is paucity of data on its role in AP.

Methods Consecutive patients with AP seen at our center from December 2012-November 2013 and presenting within 5 days of onset of symptoms were prospectively enrolled. EUS was done on the day of admission with a radial echoendoscope and pancreatic/peripancreatic findings were compared with the abdominal computed tomography (CT) findings performed on day 7.

Results Of the 46 patients evaluated, 14 were excluded, and 32 patients (22 male; age 40.68±12.46 years) underwent EUS at admission. The etiology of AP was alcohol in 16, gallstones in 13, and idiopathic in 3 patients. Necrotizing pancreatitis was present in 20 (62%) patients, and mean CT severity index was 6.45±2.96. In patients without PN (n=12), EUS revealed normal echo pattern in 6 patients and diffusely hyperechoic and enlarged pancreas in 6 patients. In patients with PN/EPN, EUS revealed multiple hypoechoic areas (>5 mm) in 5 patients, multiple hyperechoic areas (>5 mm) in 7 patients and mixed hypo and hyperechoic areas in 8 patients. Also, 13 of these patients had peripancreatic hypoechoic areas that correlated with EPN. Moreover, EUS detected common bile duct (CBD) stones in two patients, pleural effusion in 17 patients, and ascites in 15 patients.

Conclusion EUS done at admission can reliably detect PN and co-existent disorders like CBD stones.

Keywords Endosonography, acute pancreatitis, pancreatic necrosis

Ann Gastroenterol 2014; 27 (4): 404-408

Original Articles