The role of endoscopic intervention in the management of inflammatory pancreatic fluid collections

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Pancreatic fluid collections (PFCs) are a frequent complication of pancreatitis, or less commonly, pancreatic trauma or surgery. The revised Atlanta Classification categorizes PFCs as acute or chronic, with further subclassification of acute collections into acute peripancreatic collections and acute necrotic collections and of chronic fluid collections into pseudocysts and walled-off pancreatic necrosis. Acute PFCs are generally only subjected to an intervention when they are infected and not responding to antibiotics and are not managed endoscopically. Chronic PFCs, both pseudocysts and walled-off pancreatic necrosis, require intervention only when symptomatic or enlarging over time. Endoscopic ultrasound-guided drainage has become the mainstay of management for chronic PFCs that require intervention. Developments in medical devices over the past few years have significantly simplified and shortened the duration of the procedure itself, but the optimum choice of stent in different clinical scenarios remains to be defined, as does the place of endoscopic necrosectomy. To optimize outcomes, these patients should undergo a careful preprocedure workup and discussion in a multidisciplinary environment and procedures should be carried out in high-volume pancreatic units.

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