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Acute peripancreatic fluid collection

Dr Vikas Shah and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Acute peripancreatic fluid collections (APFC) are an early complication of acute pancreatitis that usually develop in the first four weeks. After four weeks, the term pseudocysts is used. The absence of necrosis differentiates APFCs from acute necrotic collections (ANC), that is, APFCs occur in interstitial edematous pancreatitis, not in necrotizing pancreatitis

The following are the latest terms according to the updated Atlanta classification to describe fluid collections associated with acute pancreatitis 1,2:

APFCs result from pancreatic/peripancreatic inflammation and/or rupture of one of the small pancreatic side ducts 1

Homogeneous peripancreatic fluid collection that is non-encapsulated and bound by the retroperitoneum 1,2

Most acute peripancreatic fluid collections resolve spontaneously in the first few weeks. They very rarely become infected. Drainage (surgical/percutaneous) is not recommended 1,2.

  • acute necrotic collection (ANC): radiographic differentiation between it and an acute peripancreatic fluid collection in the first week may prove impossible 1
  • pancreatic necrosis: fluid collections can accumulate within the pancreas (acute peripancreatic fluid collection are always peripancreatic, as their name implies) 1
Pancreatic pathology

Article information

rID: 35450
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Acute peripancreatic fluid collections (APFC)

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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