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Clinical Profile and Natural Course in a Large Cohort of Patients With Hypertriglyceridemia and Pancreatitis.

GOALS: To report the clinical profile and natural course in a large series of patients with hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) and acute pancreatitis (AP).

BACKGROUND: The natural history of HTG-related pancreatitis is poorly defined.

STUDY: Medical records of 121 patients with serum triglycerides (TG) levels of ≥500 mg/dL suffering 225 attacks of AP between January 2001 to August 2013 treated at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center were retrospectively studied. Structured data were collected on initial presentation and long-term outcomes (mean follow-up 64.7±42.8 mo). AP severity was classified using Revised Atlanta Classification.

RESULTS: Most patients were young-middle aged (mean 44±12.7 y), male (70%), white (78%), and had sentinel AP (63%). Peak serum TG recorded was ≥1000 mg/dL in 48%. At least 1 secondary risk factor (diabetes, high-risk drinking, obesity, offending medications) was present in the majority (78%). Sentinel AP attack varied in severity between mild (41%), moderate (26%), and severe (33%). Recurrent AP attacks occurred in 32%, often in patients with poorly controlled diabetes, alcoholism, and TG levels. A cumulative increase in prevalence of pancreatic and/or peripancreatic necrosis was observed, with 45% patients having it at some time during observation. Local complications were higher in patients with serum TG ≥1000 mg/dL. Chronic pancreatitis was noted in 16.5% patients (new-onset in 9%).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with HTG-related pancreatitis have a high prevalence of secondary risk factors. Frequent recurrences in them are usually due to poor control of secondary factors or TG. Serum TG ≥1000 mg/dL increases the risk of local complications. A subset can have or develop chronic pancreatitis.

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