Clinical and laboratory findings in patients with acute pancreatitis are associated with increased risk of a poor outcome. High risk patients may benefit from more aggressive therapy.

Clinical parameters in patients with acute pancreatitis associated with increased mortality if present at the time of admission:

(1) hypotension (systolic blood pressure < 90 mm Hg, and to a lesser degree < 100 mm Hg)

(2) tachycardia (heart rate > 140 beats per minute)

(3) fever (temperature > 38° C)

(4) abdominal mass

(5) abnormal examination of the lung fields


Laboratory findings on admission correlated with increased mortality:

(1) minimum serum albumin < 3 g/dL

(2) maximum prothrombin time > 14 seconds

(3) maximum white blood cell count > 20,000 per µL

(4) maximum hematocrit < 30 per cent

(5) maximum serum creatinine > 2 mg/dL

(6) maximum blood urea nitrogen > 30 mg/dL

(7) maximum serum total bilirubin > 4 mg/dL


Laboratory findings over the first 48 hours of hospitalization associated with mortality:

(1) minimum hematocrit <= 30 per cent

(2) minimum serum calcium <= 8 mg/dL


Laboratory findings not correlating with prognosis:

(1) maximum amylase

(2) maximum lipase

(3) alkaline phosphatase

(4) minimum PaO2 (although not all patients had blood gases available early in study period)


Complications developing over hospitalization associated with poorest prognosis:

(1) shock

(2) massive colloid requirements

(3) hypocalcemia (serum calcium <= 7 mg/dL)

(4) renal failure

(5) respiratory failure requiring endotracheal intubation



• The absolute mortality rates have changed due to the passage of time since 1977, but the relative significance is probably still valid.

• Blood gases were not available for some of the early patients in the study period and so these values were not always available for correlation with outcome.

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