Classification of acute pancreatitis (2012)
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:
The Atlanta classification of acute pancreatitis enabled standardised reporting of research and aided communication between clinicians. Deficiencies identified and improved understanding of the disease make a revision necessary.
A web-based consultation was undertaken in 2007 to ensure wide participation of pancreatologists. After an initial meeting, the Working Group sent a draft document to 11 national and international pancreatic associations. This working draft was forwarded to all members. Revisions were made in response to comments, and the web-based consultation was repeated three times. The final consensuswas reviewed, and only statements based on published evidence were retained.
The revised classification of acute pancreatitis identified two phases of the disease: early and late. Severity is classified as mild, moderate or severe. Mild acute pancreatitis, the most common form, has no organ failure, local or systemic complications and usually resolves in the first week. Moderately severe acute pancreatitis is defined by the presence of transient organ failure, local complications or exacerbation of co-morbid disease. Severe acute pancreatitis is defined by persistent organ failure, that is, organ failure >48 h. Local complications are peripancreatic fluid collections, pancreatic and peripancreatic necrosis (sterile or infected), pseudocyst and walled-off necrosis (sterile or infected). We present a standardised template for reporting CT images.
This international, web-based consensus provides clear definitions to classify acute pancreatitis using easily identified clinical and radiologic criteria. The wide consultation among pancreatologists to reach this consensus should encourage widespread adoption.