Unrecognized necrosis at same admission cholecystectomy for pancreatitis increases organ failure and infected necrosis

Wilson Tak Yu Kwong, Santhi Swaroop Vege

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Background and aims: Guidelines recommend same admission cholecystectomy (SAC) in the management of mild acute gallstone pancreatitis (AGP) with a recent randomized trial supporting this recommendation. However, the push for early cholecystectomy will lead a subset of patients with evolving, unrecognized necrotizing pancreatitis (NP) to undergo laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) with unknown consequences. With concerns about potentially serious outcomes, we studied the outcomes in patients with unrecognized NP who underwent SAC and identified predictors of unrecognized NP at the time of SAC. Methods: Retrospective study of patients who appeared to have mild AGP but subsequently discovered to have unrecognized NP after SAC (study group). Outcomes were compared to a similar cohort with necrotizing AGP who did not undergo SAC (control group 1). Predictors for unrecognized NP at the time of SAC were identified through logistic regression using a second control group with truly mild AGP undergoing SAC. Results: Patients in the study group (N = 46) undergoing SAC demonstrated higher rates of persistent organ failure (p = 0.0003), infected necrosis (p = 0.02), and length of hospital stay (p = 0.049) compared to a similar group (N = 48) with necrotizing AGP who did not undergo SAC. Persistent SIRS (p < 0.0001) and WBC >12 × 109/L (p < 0.0001) on the day of cholecystectomy were associated with evolving/unrecognized NP. Conclusions: Unrecognized NP at the time of SAC is associated with increased rates of subsequent persistent organ failure, infected necrosis, and length of hospital stay. Persistent leukocytosis and SIRS at the time of proposed cholecystectomy are predictive of unrecognized NP and should prompt contrast enhanced CT prior to proceeding with LC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - Jul 25 2016



  • Gallstone pancreatitis
  • Infected necrosis
  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy
  • Pancreas
  • SIRS
  • Timing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Hepatology
  • Endocrinology

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