Disparities in uptake of cholecystectomy for idiopathic pancreatitis: A nationwide retrospective cohort study



      The majority of cases of idiopathic acute pancreatitis (IAP) are thought to result from occult biliary disease. A growing body of evidence suggests that cholecystectomy for IAP reduces the risk of recurrence by up to two thirds. This study examined nationwide uptake and disparities in adoption of cholecystectomy for IAP.


      The National Inpatient Sample was queried to identify admissions for IAP between October 2015 and December 2018. Patients who underwent cholecystectomy before discharge and those that did not were compared using Wald χ2 tests for categorical variables and Student’s t test for continuous variables. Patient- and hospital-level predictors of cholecystectomy were identified using weighted multivariable logistic regression.


      Of 62,305 estimated admissions for IAP, only 665 (1.1%) underwent cholecystectomy before discharge. Female sex, initiation of total parenteral nutrition (TPN), insurance status, and hospital type were associated with cholecystectomy on univariable analysis. On multivariable analysis, Hispanic patients (odds ration [OR] 1.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–2.56), patients on TPN (OR 2.70, 95% CI 1.17–6.24), and those with private insurance (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.48–3.21 versus Medicare/Medicaid) were more likely to receive operations. Small hospitals and hospitals in rural areas were least likely to perform empiric cholecystectomies.


      Despite increasing evidence supporting cholecystectomy after IAP, the practice remains rare in the United States. Educational efforts and active implementation efforts are needed to promote adoption. Particular attention should be focused on small, rural centers and those that disproportionately care for uninsured patients and patients with public insurance.

      Graphical abstract

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