Pancreatitis complicated by gland necrosis: evolution of findings on contrast-enhanced CT.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this work was to investigate the natural history of pancreatic necrosis on contrast-enhanced CT in patients managed nonoperatively. METHOD: A computer-based radiology information search revealed 32 patients with pancreatic necrosis who had had serial contrast-enhanced CT scans and were managed nonoperatively. There were 23 men and 9 women with a mean age of 51 years. One hundred forty-five contrast-enhanced CT scans were retrospectively reviewed for the location and extent of necrosis. The medical records of all patients were reviewed. RESULTS: The 32 patients had a mean Ranson clinical grade of 5.8 (range 3-8). Eighteen of these 32 patients were managed nonoperatively, and 14 patients required a necrosectomy after initial nonoperative management. In the 32 patients, the location of necrosis was in the head (3), body (6), tail (2), head/body (2), head/body/tail (9), body/tail (9), and head/tail (1). Extent of necrosis was 0-25% (9), 26-50% (6), 51-75% (6), and 76-100% (11). The extent of necrosis remained stable during follow-up in 22 (69%) patients and increased during follow-up in 10 (31%). Necrosectomy was performed in six (60%) patients in whom there was an increase in necrosis and eight (36%) patients in whom necrosis was stable. No patient had restoration of normal enhancement in an area that was previously necrotic. There were five patients who were managed nonoperatively (mean follow-up 318 days) in whom the necrosis eventually resorbed, forming a focal parenchymal cleft reminiscent of a scar. Five of the 32 patients died. CONCLUSION: Pancreatic necrosis as demonstrated by CT tends to remain stable in most patients treated nonoperatively. If the extent of necrosis increases, patients are more likely to require a necrosectomy. In some patients managed nonoperatively, the pancreatic necrosis will resorb, resulting in a fat-replaced cleft reminiscent of a scar.
Vitellas, KM; Paulson, EK; Enns, RA; Keogan, MT; Pappas, TN
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