CASE REPORTS
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Hyperparathyroidism as a cause of recurrent acute pancreatitis: A case report.

Introduction: One of the more uncommon etiological factors responsible for the development of acute pancreatitis (AP) is hypercalcemia. Hyperparathyroidism (HPT), as a cause of hypercalcemia, is responsible for 1.5–13% of AP according to a number of studies. A mechanism of the development of AP in hyperparathyroidism is still unclear.

Case report: We presented a 47-year-old female patient, who had five episodes of AP in total before the etiological factors were finally determined. The patient had certain comorbidities which were considered to be potential causes of AP. She had chronic renal insufficiency (she was on a regular hemodialysis program), systemic lupus erythematosus and mioma uteri. She used to regularly take an antiepileptic drug (combination of sodium valproate and valproic acid). During the fifth episode of AP, the serum calcium level was for the first time elevated to twice the normal value. Level of parathyroid hormone was several times higher. A static scintigraphy found hyperplasia or hyperfunctional adenoma of the right inferior and superior parathyroid glands. Abdominal multislice computed tomography (MSCT) scan verified the enlargement of the entire pancreas, as well as the presence of heterogeneous structures with diffuse amorphous calcifications. The lytic lesions in the pelvic bones could be seen in both sides. Parathyroidectomy was being postponed by an endocrine surgeon because of the poor overall condition of the patient. In the next period the patient had five more episodes of AP. The condition was significantly contributed by increasingly more frequent and longer episodes of metrorrhagia. Despite all therapeutic measures that were taken, systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) developed, and fatal outcome occurred.

Conclusion: In case of recurrent pancreatitis, hyperparathyroidism is to be considered even if a significant elevation of serum calcium is not present. This is especially the case for patients with chronic renal insufficiency or impaired vitamin D metabolism, who have a higher risk of secondary hyperthyroidism.

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