[LDL-Apheresis for the treatment of hyperchylomicronemia-induced pancreatitis]

A M Sattler, K Bock, S Schmidt, B Maisch, J R Schaefer
Zeitschrift Für Kardiologie 2003, 92: III64-7
Severe hyperchylomicronemia due to defects of lipoprotein lipase or apoC-II is a rare cause for acute pancreatitis. Food with a high content of fat, as well as alcoholic or hormonal influences, can lead to excessive hypertriglyceridemia. Especially hyperchylomicronemia due to hormonal influences during pregnancy are troublesome. Here, we are confronted with both the risk to the mother as well as the vital risk to the unborn. Conventional plasma apheresis has been used to successfully eliminate chylomicrons and, thus, the primary cause of chylomicron-induced pancreatitis. Most recently, we reported the use of selective LDL-apheresis in a 24-year-old pregnant woman (thirteenth week of pregnancy), who was admitted with the signs of acute pancreatitis to our hospital. The patient was known to have a history of severe hyperchylomicronemia and she had also been treated several years before for acute pancreatitis by LDL-apheresis. Her triglycerides were severely elevated (11500 mg/dl) and, in order to achieve a rapid decrease of chylomicrons, we decided to treat her by selective LDL-apheresis utilizing HELP-apheresis. The treatment was well tolerated and within half an hour the patient was free of any abdominal pain. However, due to the enormous triglyceride load, we needed to change the precipitate filters several times and at the end of the treatment triglyceride levels were 6600 mg/dl. Under a low-fat diet (<30 gram fat per day), the follow-up was uneventful and the patient delivered a healthy baby at the end of week 39. We conclude that LDL-apheresis is a safe and rapid procedure to eliminate chylomicrons in chylomicron-induced pancreatitis.

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