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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2018, Article ID 6218798, 8 pages
Review Article

Mechanisms and Management of Acute Pancreatitis

1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Digestive Disease Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, USA
2Department of Internal Medicine, Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Prabhleen Chahal; gro.fcc@plahahc

Received 8 December 2017; Accepted 18 February 2018; Published 15 March 2018

Academic Editor: Mohit Girotra

Copyright © 2018 Ari Garber et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Acute pancreatitis represents a disorder characterized by acute necroinflammatory changes of the pancreas and is histologically characterized by acinar cell destruction. Diagnosed clinically with the Revised Atlanta Criteria, and with alcohol and cholelithiasis/choledocholithiasis as the two most prominent antecedents, acute pancreatitis ranks first amongst gastrointestinal diagnoses requiring admission and 21st amongst all diagnoses requiring hospitalization with estimated costs approximating 2.6 billion dollars annually. Complications arising from acute pancreatitis follow a progression from pancreatic/peripancreatic fluid collections to pseudocysts and from pancreatic/peripancreatic necrosis to walled-off necrosis that typically occur over the course of a 4-week interval. Treatment relies heavily on fluid resuscitation and nutrition with advanced endoscopic techniques and cholecystectomy utilized in the setting of gallstone pancreatitis. When necessity dictates a drainage procedure (persistent abdominal pain, gastric or duodenal outlet obstruction, biliary obstruction, and infection), an endoscopic ultrasound with advanced endoscopic techniques and technology rather than surgical intervention is increasingly being utilized to manage symptomatic pseudocysts and walled-off pancreatic necrosis by performing a cystogastrostomy.