What is acute pancreatitis? How is acute pancreatitis diagnosed?
The term “pancreatitis” literally means inflammation of the pancreas. Acute pancreatitis, as the name implies, presents with sudden, severe, and persistent epigastric pain. Classically, pancreatitis pain radiates to the back, is worse after eating, and is relieved by sitting forward. The diagnosis of acute pancreatitis requires the presence of two of the following three criteria:
- • Acute onset severe, persistent epigastric pain, often radiating to the back
- • Elevation in serum lipase or amylase, greater than three times the laboratory upper limit of normal
- • Characteristic findings of acute pancreatitis on computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, or abdominal ultrasound