Background: To provide updates on clinical practice of acute pancreatitis (AP) in Japan, we conducted a nationwide epidemiological survey. Methods: This study consisted of a two-staged survey; the number of AP patients was estimated by the first-stage survey and their clinical features were examined by the second-stage survey. We surveyed AP patients who had visited hospitals in 2016. Results: The estimated number of AP patients in 2016 was 78,450, with an overall incidence of 61.8 per 100,000 persons. We obtained detailed clinical information of 2994 AP patients, including 706 (23.6%) severe cases classified according to the Japanese severity criteria. The male-to-female sex ratio was 2.0, and the mean age at onset was 59.9 years in males and 66.5 years in females. Alcohol was the most common etiology (42.8%) in males and gallstones in females (37.7%). The AP-associated mortality was 6.1% in severe AP cases, which was decreased by 40% compared to the 2011 survey. Antibiotics were administered to most cases, with carbapenem being frequently used. Enteral nutrition was given in 31.8% of severe cases, but majority cases received after 48 h. Among the 107 patients who received intervention for walled-off necrosis, five patients received surgery-first approach, 66 received endoscopic ultrasound-guided transluminal drainage, and 19 underwent step-up approach. Conclusions: We clarified the current status of AP in Japan including the significant reduction of mortality in severe cases, shift to endoscopic approaches for walled-off necrosis, and poor compliance of the recommendations in the guidelines including management of enteral nutrition and antibiotic administration.
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