Visceral Adiposity Predicts Severity of Acute Pancreatitis

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The aim of this study was to determine the association of visceral adiposity with severe outcomes in acute pancreatitis (AP).


This retrospective study included consecutive patients with AP admitted to a tertiary care hospital between January 2010 and January 2015 who underwent a computed tomography scan. The visceral adipose tissue (VAT) volume was estimated using the method of Linder and colleagues. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess VAT as a predictor of severe AP compared with other validated predictors of severity.


Five hundred and seventy four patients were admitted during the study period, of which 252 had a computed tomography scan available. Patients with severe AP had a larger VAT area compared with those with mild or moderate AP (mean: 184.9 cm2 vs 79.9 cm2, P = 0.006). Patients who developed multisystem organ failure or had acute necrotic collections had a larger VAT area than those who did not (150.6 cm2 vs 91.0 cm2, P = 0.004 and 174.0 cm2 vs 91.9 cm2, P = 0.003, respectively). Visceral adipose tissue area demonstrated superior discrimination of severe AP compared with other severity predictors.


Increased VAT area is a strong predictor of severe pancreatitis, necrosis, and multisystem organ failure.

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