Acute pancreatitis due to hypertriglyceridemia: report of 2 cases

Joong Ho Bae, Sang Hyun Baek, Ho Soon Choi, Kyung Ran Cho, Hang Lak Lee, Oh Young Lee, Byung Chul Yoon, Joon Soo Hahm, Min Ho Lee, Dong Hoo Lee, Choon Suhk Kee
Korean Journal of Gastroenterology, Taehan Sohwagi Hakhoe Chi 2005, 46 (6): 475-80
Hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) is a rare but well known cause of acute pancreatitis (AP), which can be a life- threatening complication if the degree of HTG is severe enough. It might be primary in origin or secondary to alcohol abuse, diabetes mellitus, pregnancy, or drugs. A serum triglyceride (TG) level of more than 1,000 to 2,000 mg/dL in patients with type I, IV, or V hyperlipidemia (Fredrickson's classification) is the identifiable risk factor. HTG-induced AP typically presents as an episode of AP or recurrent AP. The clinical course of HTG-induced AP is not different from other causes. Routine management of HTG-induced AP should be similar to other causes. A thorough family history of lipid abnormalities should be obtained, and an attempt to identify secondary causes should be made. The mainstay of treatment includes dietary restriction of fatty meal and lipid-lowering medications (mainly fibric acid derivatives). Although there are limited experiences with plasmapheresis, lipid apheresis, heparinization and insulin application, these can support the treatment of HTG- induced AP. We report two cases of HTG-induced AP which were successfully treated by plasmapheresis.

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