Bacteremia in acute pancreatitis of different etiologies

K. K. Chang, X. Z. Lin, C. Y. Chen, J. S. Shin, C. C. Yang, C. Y. Chen

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10 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate the rationale of using antibiotics in acute pancreatitis and to determine whether the indication for their use depends upon the etiology of the pancreatitis, the records of 202 patients with acute pancreatitis were retrospectively reviewed. The incidence of abnormal body temperature, leukocytosis, bacteremia and the results of biochemistry tests in different etiologies of the disease were investigated. Pancreatitis was found to be alcohol-related (47 patients), gallstone-related (105 patients), idiopathic (26 patients) and miscellaneous (24 patients). On admission, 83 patients had abnormal body temperature and 146 patients showed leukocytosis. Bacteremia occurred in 20 patients. Of these, 15 had gallstone-related pancreatitis, two had pancreatic cancers and one developed bacteremia after endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP). These 18 patients had abnormal biochemistry results (including high serum levels of direct bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase and gamma-glutamyltransferase) and dilated bile ducts on imaging studies, indicating biliary infections. The remaining two patients with bacteremia included one alcoholic patient and one patient with idiopathic pancreatitis. The most commonly involved pathogens were Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae. In addition, eight patients (4%) developed secondary pancreatic infections during hospitalization; the blood cultures of seven of these patients were negative on admission. Altough fever and leukocytosis are not good predictors of infection in acute pancreatitis our results showed that bacteremia is common in patients whose pancreatitis is related to gallstones, ERCP or pancreatic malignancy with obstructive jaundice. We recommend that antibiotics be used only in the subset of acute pancreatitis patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-718
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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