Background: Acute pancreatitis is usually a mild and self-limiting disease. About 25 % of patients have severe episode with mortality up to 30%. Early identification of these patients has potential advantages of aggressive treatment at intensive care unit or transfer to higher centre. Several scoring systems are available to predict severity of acute pancreatitis but are cumbersome, take 24 to 48 hours and are dependent on tests that are not universally available. Haematocrit has been used as a predictor of severity of acute pancreatitis but some have doubted its role.
Objectives: To study the significance of haematocrit in prediction of severity of acute pancreatitis.
Methods: Patients admitted with first episode of acute pancreatitis from February 2014 to July 2014 were included. Haematocrit at admission and 24 hours of admission were compared with severity of acute pancreatitis. Mean, analysis of variance, chi square, pearson correlation and receiver operator characteristic curve were used for statistical analysis.
Results: Thirty one patients were included in the study with 16 (51.61%) male and 15 (48.4%) female. Haematocrit at 24 hours of admission was higher in severe acute pancreatitis (P value 0.003). Both haematocrit at admission and at 24 hours had positive correlation with severity of acute pancreatitis (r: 0.387; P value 0.031 and r: 0.584; P value 0.001) respectively.
Area under receiver operator characteristic curve for haematocrit at admission and 24 hours were 0.713 (P value 0.175, 95% CI 0.536 - 0.889) and 0.917 (P value 0.008, 95% CI 0.813 – 1.00) respectively.
Conclusion: Haematocrit is a simple, cost effective and widely available test and can predict severity of acute pancreatitis.
Journal of Kathmandu Medical College, Vol. 4(1) 2015, 3-7