Pancreatic Fungal Infection in Patients with Necrotizing Pancreatitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Ritu R. Singh, William Mitchell, Yakira David, Antonio Cheesman, Rebekah E. Dixon, Satish Nagula, Christopher J. Dimaio, David A. Greenwald, Nikhil A. Kumta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Goal:The goal of this study was to study the incidence of fungal infection in necrotizing pancreatitis (NP) and its impact on mortality.Background:Infected pancreatic necrosis is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in patients with NP. While pancreatic fungal infection (PFI) has frequently been identified in patients with NP, its effect on the clinical outcomes is unclear.Materials and Methods:A literature search was performed in Medline (Ovid), Embase (Ovid), and the Cochrane library. All prospective and retrospective studies that examined the incidence of fungal infection in NP with subgroup mortality data were included. For fungal infection of NP, studies with fungal isolation from pancreatic necrotic tissue were included. Newcastle Ottawa Scale and Joanna Briggs Institute's critical appraisal tool were used for bias assessment.Results:Twenty-two studies comprising 2151 subjects with NP were included for the quantitative analysis. The mean incidence of fungal infection was 26.6% (572/2151). In-hospital mortality in the pooled sample of NP patients with PFI (N=572) was significantly higher [odds ratio (OR)=3.95, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.6-5.8] than those without PFI. In a separate analysis of 7 studies, the mean difference in the length of stay between those with and without fungal infection was 22.99 days (95% CI: 14.67-31.3). The rate of intensive care unit admission (OR=3.95; 95% CI: 2.6-5.8), use of prophylactic antibacterials (OR=2.76; 95% CI: 1.31-5.81) and duration of antibacterial therapy (mean difference=8.71 d; 95% CI: 1.33-16.09) were all significantly higher in patients with PFI. Moderate heterogeneity was identified among the studies on estimating OR for mortality (I2=43%) between the 2 groups.Conclusions:PFI is common in patients with NP and is associated with increased mortality, intensive care unit admission rate, and length of stay. Further prospective studies are needed to better understand the pathophysiology of PFIs and to determine the role for preemptive therapeutic strategies, such as prophylactic antifungal therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-226
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • antibiotic prophylaxis
  • fungal infection
  • infected pancreatic necrosis (IPN)
  • necrotizing pancreatitis (NP)


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