[Seminar] Acute pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis, an inflammatory disorder of the pancreas, is the leading cause of admission to hospital for gastrointestinal disorders in the USA and many other countries. Gallstones and alcohol misuse are long-established risk factors, but several new causes have emerged that, together with new aspects of pathophysiology, improve understanding of the disorder. As incidence (and admission rates) of acute pancreatitis increase, so does the demand for effective management. We review how to manage patients with acute pancreatitis, paying attention to diagnosis, differential diagnosis, complications, prognostic factors, treatment, and prevention of second attacks, and the possible transition from acute to chronic pancreatitis.