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Papers of the Week

2022 Nov 06

World J Clin Cases



Surgical intervention for acute pancreatitis in the COVID-19 era.


Su Y-J, Chen T-H
World J Clin Cases. 2022 Nov 06; 10(31):11292-11298.
PMID: 36387796.


Approximately 15%-19% of patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections develop gastrointestinal symptoms. Acute pancreatitis (AP) has been reported in 0.1% of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Biliary AP was most common (78.4%) before the COVID-19 pandemic; idiopathic AP is most common in patients with COVID-19 (up to 57.1%). The number of emergency department presentations decreased by 23.3% during the pandemic and many governments made national recommendations to delay nonurgent endoscopic procedures, leading to decrements of 22% in combined esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and colonoscopy and 20% in EGD after the COVID-19 pandemic. The symptoms and signs of COVID-19-related AP are fever (63%), abdominal pain (58%), respiratory symptoms (40%), nausea and vomiting (39%), and headache (4%). Approximately 5-10% of patients develop necrotizing or hemorrhagic AP, and patients who required surgical intervention had a higher mortality risk. Compared to 2019, the rates of elective surgery decreased by 41.8% in 2020; including cholecystectomy (40.1% decrease) and pancreas (111.1% decrease). Surgical volumes also decreased by 18.7% in 2020; device-assisted laparoscopic and robot-assisted procedures reduced by 45.4% and 61.9% during the COVID-19 Lockdown in 2020.