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Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int. 2012 Jun;11(3):314-8.

Quantitative analysis of intestinal gas in patients with acute pancreatitis.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Renmin Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.



Disturbance of gastrointestinal function is a common complication in the early phase of acute pancreatitis (AP). Intestinal gas may reflect the function of the gut. Using plain abdominal radiographs, we investigated whether intestinal gas volume is related to AP.


Plain abdominal radiographs of 68 patients with AP within 24 hours after admission and 21 normal controls were digitized and transmitted to a computer. The region of intestinal gas was identified by an image manipulation software and the gas volume score (GVS) was calculated. The relationships between the GVS values and various clinical factors of AP were analyzed.


The GVS in the AP group was 0.084+/-0.016, in the mild AP (MAP) group 0.070+/-0.005, and in the severe AP (SAP) group 0.094+/-0.013; all values were higher than that in the control group (P<0.01). The GVS in the SAP group was higher than that in the MAP group. The GVSs were correlated to the Ranson's scores (r=0.762, P<0.01) and the acute physiology and chronic health evaluation II (APACHE II) scores (r=0.801, P<0.01). In addition, the GVS in patients with secondary pancreatic and/or peripancreatic infection was 0.107+/-0.014, higher than that in patients without secondary infection (P<0.01). GVS was not related to gender, age, etiology or clinical outcome of AP.


Intestinal gas volume is significantly elevated in patients with AP. It is closely related to Ranson's and APACHE II score and secondary pancreatic and/or peripancreatic infection. GVS may be a new prognostic tool for assessing the severity of AP in the early course of the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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