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In a retrospective study of 264 patients with acute pancreatitis, 22 were identified as having phlegmon by combined radiologic and clinical criteria. The radiologic criteria consisted of demonstration of abnormal lesion on computed tomography scan which was composed of masses of mixed density, free of extraluminal gas and lacking a well-defined wall. The clinical criteria was that the clinical course was free of sepsis. Half of the group thus identified had severe pancreatitis as defined as having three or more poor prognostic signs. Fever, leukocytosis, and serum amylase elevation persisted for a longer period than usual. Complication was infrequent but the lesion could persist for 3 to 4 months without producing symptoms. This is a relatively benign condition and surgery should be avoided.
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