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HPB Surgery
Volume 6 (1993), Issue 4, Pages 263-276
Review Article

Clinical Diversity in Biliary Pancreatitis — Classification of Two Types

1Department of Surgery, Ogaki Municipal Hospital, 4–86, Minaminokawa, Ogaki 503, Japan
2Department of Gastroenterology, Ogaki Municipal Hospital, 4–86, Minaminokawa, Ogaki 503, Japan

Received 1 August 1992; Accepted 10 September 1992

Copyright © 1993 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


One hundred and seven patients with biliary pancreatitis undergoing operation from 1976 to 1989 were reviewed. To clarify the reason for failure to respond to conventional supportive therapy, 73 patients (68%) who underwent emergency surgery were retrospectively divided into two groups according to the severity of the pancreatitis evaluated at laparotomy and compared. Sixty-two had minimal or mild pancreatitis (Group I), among whom 44 (71%) had life-threatening acute biliary tract disease. All underwent biliary surgery and 4 (6%) subsequently died, 2 due to acute obstructive suppurative cholangitis. Eleven had hemorrhagic necrotizing pancreatitis (Group II), among whom 7 had complications of acute pancreatitis such as pancreatic ascites or abscess. These underwent pancreatic and/or biliary surgery and 3 (27%) died of multi-organ failure.

There appears to be two types of biliary pancreatitis refractory to conventional supportive therapy, which differ in the extent of surgery required and in mortality: (1) minimal or mild pancreatitis with persistent life-threatening acute biliary tract disease (biliary type), and (2) more severe pancreatitis (pancreas type) early in the course of the disease.