Hypertriglyceridemia-induced acute pancreatitis treated with insulin and heparin

Jennifer D Twilla, Jimmie Mancell
American Journal of Health-system Pharmacy: AJHP 2012 February 1, 69 (3): 213-6

PURPOSE: A case of hypertriglyceridemia-induced acute pancreatitis that was managed with insulin and heparin is reported.

SUMMARY: A 39-year-old Hispanic man arrived at the emergency department with complaints of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting over one day. A computed tomography scan of the abdomen revealed peripancreatic inflammatory changes surrounding the tail of the pancreas, consistent with pancreatitis. Pertinent laboratory test values on admission were as follows: triglyceride concentration, 5366 mg/dL; total cholesterol concentration, 555 mg/dL; amylase concentration, 131 units/L; lipase concentration, 51 units/L; serum glucose concentration, 253 mg/dL; and serum sodium concentration, 128 mmol/L. The patient was diagnosed with hypertriglyceridemia-induced pancreatitis. On hospital day 1, the patient was given nothing by mouth and received a 1-L bolus dose of 0.9% sodium chloride injection, followed by a continuous infusion of 0.9% sodium chloride injection at a rate of 125 mL/hr. Subcutaneous heparin 5000 units every eight hours, sliding-scale regular insulin, and gemfibrozil 600 mg twice daily were initiated. On hospital day 2, the patient's triglyceride concentration decreased to 2962 mg/dL, and his blood glucose concentration was 147 mg/dL. Subcutaneous insulin detemir 25 units daily was ordered, and sliding-scale insulin was continued. Due to continued elevated triglyceride levels, the patient was transitioned from subcutaneous insulin to an i.v. insulin infusion at 0.1 unit/kg/hr in addition to an infusion of 5% dextrose. On hospital day 5, the patient's triglyceride concentration decreased to 717 mg/dL; the insulin-dextrose infusion was discontinued. The patient was discharged on hospital day 6.

CONCLUSION: A 39-year-old man with pancreatitis caused by severe hypertriglyceridemia was treated with a continuous insulin infusion and subcutaneous heparin.

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