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World J Gastroenterol. 2008 Nov 7;14(41):6273-5.

Prediction of severe acute pancreatitis: current knowledge and novel insights.


Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a common and potentially lethal acute inflammatory process with a highly variable clinical course. It is still unclear why some patients progress to organ failure and others do not. Physicians, ability to predict which patients will develop severe disease is limited. Routine clinical and laboratory data and multi-factorial clinical scores measured on admission and during the first 48 h of hospitalization are currently the standards of care used to estimate the magnitude of the inflammatory response to injury. Current literature highlights several common environmental, metabolic and genetic factors that increase the risk of AP development and subsequent adverse sequelae. Several cytokines have been found to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of AP by driving the subsequent inflammatory response, to include tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), Interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6 and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1). Large, prospective studies are still needed to address these questions by identifying AP risk factors and serum biomarkers of severe disease.

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