Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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LETTER TO EDITOR  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 393-394
The importance of sample size calculation in a retrospective study of recurrent and non-recurrent acute pancreatitis


Professional School of Human Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Privada San Juan Bautista-Filial Chincha, Chincha, Peru

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Date of Web Publication05-Aug-2022
 

How to cite this article:
Lopez-Valentin J, Aguilar-Padilla A, Tirado-Hurtado I. The importance of sample size calculation in a retrospective study of recurrent and non-recurrent acute pancreatitis. Saudi J Gastroenterol 2022;28:393-4

How to cite this URL:
Lopez-Valentin J, Aguilar-Padilla A, Tirado-Hurtado I. The importance of sample size calculation in a retrospective study of recurrent and non-recurrent acute pancreatitis. Saudi J Gastroenterol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 28];28:393-4. Available from: https://www.saudijgastro.com/text.asp?2022/28/5/393/353464




Sir,

We have read with great interest the study by Song K. et al.,[1] where they determined the different clinical features between recurrent acute pancreatitis (RAP) and non-recurrent acute pancreatitis (non-RAP) in a tertiary hospital in China. We appreciate their effort, as the article provides valuable data on RAP and non-RAP with a five-year follow-up. However, we would like to point out some points that we consider important:

Firstly, it is apparent that the comparison of clinical characteristics between the RAP and non-RAP groups is not appropriate, due to the large difference in the sample size of each group; 262 patients were included in the RAP group and 1305 in the non-RAP group. For example, one of the results obtained by Song K. et al.[1] is that the RAP group had a lower incidence of cholelithiasis, and acute liver damage compared to the non-RAP group, but it cannot be concluded whether this result is due to the type of RAP or to the difference in sample size.

The difference in sample sizes was analyzed using the Mann-Whitney test, which is used when the difference between two groups with freely distributed quantitative variables is to be determined.[2],[3] For the above reasons, it is recommended to compare two populations with similar numbers of members per group, in order to obtain results that are closer to reality in terms of their differences or similarities.

Secondly, the article made an unequal relationship between factors such as hypertriglyceridaemia (HTG), male sex, and diabetes that are related to RAP, but does not specify how much of a relationship they have with respect to non-RAP or if there is any. It is important to mention if there is a relationship between them, as it has been reported in several studies that HTG shows a higher rate of complications and severity than other aetiologies. As for the male sex, the prevalence was 76% in RAP vs. 54% in non-RAP; and lastly, the prevalence of diabetes was 53% in RAP vs. 18% in non-RAP.[4]

We are grateful to Song K. et al.[1] for their significant work in summarizing the most salient factors in relation to RAP; however, this work would be more complete if the points we made were considered.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Song K, Guo C, He L, Li C, Ding N. Different clinical characteristics between recurrent and non-recurrent acute pancreatitis: A retrospective cohort study from a tertiary hospital. Saudi J Gastroenterol 2022;20. doi: 10.4103/sjg.sjg_324_21.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Molina Arias M, Ochoa Sangrador C, Ortega Páez E. Comparación de dos medias. Pruebas de la t de Student. Evid Pediatr 2020;16:51.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Rivas-Ruiz R, Moreno-Palacios J, Talavera JO. Diferencias de medianas con la U de Mann-Whitney. Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc 2013;51:414-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Dancu G, Bende F, Danila M, Sirli R, Popescu A, Tarta C. Hypertriglyceridaemia-induced acute pancreatitis: A different disease phenotype. Diagnostics 2022;12:868. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics 12040868.  Back to cited text no. 4
    

Top
Correspondence Address:
Prof. Indira Tirado-Hurtado
Professional School of Human Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Privada San Juan Bautista a-Filial Chincha, Chincha; Albilla Street sw/n Urbanization Las Viñas (Ex Toche)
Peru
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/sjg.sjg_309_22

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