Outcome variables in acute pancreatitis

Currently, there is no specific treatment for AP, so the cornerstone for the management of AP are supportive measures: analgesia, fluid therapy and nutritional support. When testing new therapies for AP there is an important practical problem: as the variables considered by physicians to be most clinically relevant (persistent organ failure and mortality) occur infrequently (10 and 5% respectively), studies designed to assess the efficacy for new treatments require a very large sample of patients, hundreds or thousands, which in many cases discourages researchers. Although variables like mortality are obviously important, there may be other variables that are important for the patients.