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We aimed to identify the risk factors for predicting pancreatic infection in patients with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP).In all, 163 patients with SAP were included and divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of pancreatic infection. Their demographic and clinical characteristics, laboratory examination results, complications and treatment modalities were collected from their medical records. Variables were initially screened by univariate analysis and those with statistical significance were then filtered by multivariate analysis to determine the independent risk factors for pancreatic infection in SAP.Patients having SAP with pancreatic infection had a lower partial pressure of arterial carbon dioxide (PaCO2), peripheral white blood cell count and alkaline phosphatase levels, together with a higher computed tomography severity index (CTSI) than those without pancreatic infection, while their lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels and blood urea nitrogen were much higher. Pancreatic infection was also more common in patients receiving late fluid resuscitation than in those receiving early fluid resuscitation. Multivariate analyses revealed that increased LDH level, high CTSI, delayed fluid resuscitation and hypoxemia were independent risk factors for pancreatic infection in SAP. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values for a model combining the parameters in predicting pancreatic infection were 84%, 97%, 88% and 96%, respectively, with a cut-off value of 0.393, and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.923.Increased LDH, high CTSI, delayed fluid resuscitation and hypoxemia are independent risk factors for predicting pancreatic infection in patients with SAP.