Readmissions After Biliary Acute Pancreatitis: Analysis of the Nationwide Readmissions Database

Hisham Laswi, Bashar Attar, Robert Kwei, Michelle Ishaya, Pius Ojemolon, Bashar Natour, Mohammad Darweesh, Hafeez Shaka


Background: Acute pancreatitis is a common inflammatory condition that involves the pancreas. Gallstones and alcohol are the most common etiologies in the USA. Cholecystectomy is the cornerstone procedure in the management of biliary acute pancreatitis (BAP). In this study, we examined the causes and predictors of readmissions following BAP based on the procedure performed.

Methods: Using the Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD) and the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification/Procedure Coding System (ICD10-CM/PCS), we retrospectively studied BAP hospitalizations (2016 - 2018). The first hospitalization within the year was marked as index hospitalization. Index hospitalizations were categorized based on whether an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and/or a cholecystectomy was performed into no procedure group, ERCP group, cholecystectomy group, and both procedures group. We subsequently identified readmissions within 30 days. Using this categorization, we studied reasons, rates, and predictors of readmissions.

Results: A total of 127,318 index hospitalizations were included. The cholecystectomy group constituted the largest share of this cohort (43.5%). Using the no procedure group as a reference, analysis of the outcomes showed that the cholecystectomy group had the lowest inpatient mortality (adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 0.18, P < 0.001), while both procedures group had the highest total hospital charges (adjusted mean difference (aMD): 42,249, P < 0.001). Acute pancreatitis without necrosis or infection was the most frequent principal diagnosis for readmission (18.7%). Analysis of readmission predictors showed that both procedures group had the lowest risk for readmission (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR): 0.40, P < 0.001). Females were less likely to be readmitted compared to males (aHR: 0.82, P < 0.001) and elderly were less likely to be readmitted compared to young adults (aHR: 0.82, P < 0.001). Patients discharged against medical advice were more likely to be readmitted (aHR: 1.76, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Undergoing both ERCP and cholecystectomy for BAP resulted in significantly higher hospital charges with no additional mortality benefit. However, it decreased the readmission risk significantly. Acute pancreatitis without necrosis or infection was the most frequent reason for readmissions.

Gastroenterol Res. 2022;15(4):188-199


Biliary acute pancreatitis; Readmission; Nationwide Readmissions Database; ERCP; Cholecystectomy

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